Around 55,000 people are confirmed dead and around 281,000 have been injured after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck south-western China.
The quake, which is the most severe to hit China for three decades, occurred on Monday May 12 2008 at 14.28 local time (06.28 GMT) in Wenchuan county and was felt as far away as Beijing and Bangkok.
Thousands of people are still trapped under flattened buildings and rescuers are searching through the rubble with their bare hands as rescue operations are hampered by heavy rains and road blocks caused by fallen boulders and landslides.
The high numbers of people still missing means that the death toll is likely to rise considerably over the coming days and China’s one-child policy means that many of those waiting for news of loved one’s may well lose their only child.
In some areas as many as 80 percent of homes have been destroyed. Tents and makeshift shelters cover every available stretch of land.
IR is on the ground and has allocated an initial £20,000 to cover immediate needs which include food, water, clothing, shelter and medical care.
IR China works in conjunction with the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) and the Gansu Association for NGO International Economic and Technical Co-operation (GANGO), two of the largest operational NGOs in the country and so is well-equipped to deal with the current crisis.
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