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Why we needed your help

Street full of rubble© InfoThe British Red Cross launched an appeal on 14 May 2008 to support the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s response to the China earthquake. The appeal has now closed and thanks to the generosity of everyone who donated, £4.8 million was raised.

On 12 May 2008, a major earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale devastated eight provinces: Sichuan, which was the most severely affected, along with Gansu, Shaanxi, Chongqing, Yunnan, Shanxi, Guizhou and Hubei.

The earthquake was the worst to hit China since 1976 and tremors were felt as far as Bangkok, some 3,330 kilometres away.

The consequences were devastating:

  • the official death toll stands at over 87,400, but may be higher
  • around 374,000 injured
  • some 5,500 children became orphans
  • more than 15 million people displaced with 4.5 million homeless.

In some towns, 80 per cent of buildings, including schools, hospitals and factories, were reduced to rubble. With health facilities and infrastructure destroyed, the World Health Organisation warned that warm, humid weather and shortages of clean water create serious risk of epidemics.

More about the China earthquake

Last updated July 2013