Response Team Mobilized Minutes After the Disaster
Lakewood Ranch, Fla. (Vocus) April 28, 2010 -- Up to 2,000 people, made homeless by a powerful earthquake that struck Western China two weeks ago, have been given disaster relief tents from ShelterBox. ShelterBox is an international disaster relief agency which provides shelter and other life saving equipment after a disaster.
Chinese ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member Tony Zhang travelled through mountainous terrain in freezing temperatures to get to Yushu, near the Tibetan border, which was hit by a 6.9 magnitude quake on April 14. Minutes after the earthquake struck, Zhang began preparations to line up the logistics of getting as many tents delivered to the stricken region as possible.
With the help from local volunteers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) Zhang distributed a total of 200 disaster relief tents to the outlying Yushu villages of Ri Ma, Shang Laxiu, Xia Laxiu, Niang La and Ba Tang.
Zhang was joined by fellow ShelterBox Response Team members Andrew Gauci, of Australia, and Owen Smith, of New Zealand, worked from Xining, Qinghai province’s capital.
Zhang said: “We arrived at the epicenter at the town of Jie Gu and we were astounded by the scene in front of us because 90% of buildings had collapsed.”
A local NGO leader Yong Qiang took Zhang to a huge camp for survivors which was a racecourse before the quake occured. A group of villagers unloaded 100 ShelterBox tents which were given to the most needy families. The group then moved to another village which served as a distribution hub for smaller villages throughout the area.
Moments after Zhang showed the survivors how to set up the tents, they began moving their belongings into them.
Veronica Brandon Miller, executive director of ShelterBox USA, said 2010 has proven to be a tumultuous yea
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