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May 16, 2008

Half the Sky Earthquake Update - May 16

Dear Friends,

I dearly wish I had more good news to report. The very best thing I can tell you is that we have not had a single report of injuries from the welfare institutions.

As of this morning (Friday) there were 19,509 people confirmed dead. The State Council today said there will likely be more than 50,000. Today’s government report describes one terrible scene after another: thousands homeless, thousands missing, thousands injured, thousands trapped or buried alive. Hope for survivors is dimming. There is an urgent call for body bags to prevent the spread of disease. There have been over 4,400 aftershocks.

HTS Director, Child Development, Ma Lang has arrived in Chengdu and sends this note: I am deeply touched by your moral and emotional support. I only slept two of the past thirty hours. The first thing I did after landing was to donate some medicine to the Chengdu Red Cross. It was very much appreciated – exactly what was needed. They gave me a wish list for further donations: antibiotics for children and adults, medicine for diarrhea, cold capsules (not instant medicines that must be mixed in water), bandages, gauze, tape, iodine, cotton swabs, herbal medicine to stop bleeding and some for pain relief. Other much-needed donations include tents, tarpaulins, warm clothes and shoes. People in Chengdu are doing everything they can to help with the earthquake rescue. I saw all sorts of vehicles carrying things to the donation centers. I registered for blood donation and was put on the waiting list – the blood center was overloaded with donated blood and it’s difficult to transport the blood to the hardest-hit areas. More to come Lang

The following orphanages report damage, but, again, no injuries. Your generous donations will help meet all of these requests for assistance:

Meishan – Cracks in buildings, have evacuated all children (50+) to tents. They have adequate food, water and clothes but request 20 cribs and bedding.

Guangyuan – Damaged buildings, all children have been in tents for 4-5 days, often in the blazing sun. They request food, baby formula water, diapers, bedding and other daily necessities. They urgently need drugs and food supplements to protect against disease and heatstroke.

Nanchong SWI – There was substantial damage to buildings, all children (100+, more than half under 6 years-old) are living in tents. They need more tents, disposable diapers, children’s clothing, wagons, cribs and bedding.

Deyang CWI – Dormitory for school-age children was severely damaged. Although the other buildings seem fine, pending inspection, all children and staff have been moved to tents. There has been constant rain and much that was pulled from the buildings has been ruined. They request bedding and children’s clothing. They still have disposable diapers left from our assistance during the winter storms but will be running out of those as well as infant formula in the coming days.

Mianyang Zitong CWI (update) – Children have been moved back from the military base to a safe building in the institution. There is adequate food and water but they request clothes, bedding, infant formula, diapers and medicine for colds. They are now caring for 66 children, 23 of them under 2 years.

Sadly, 24 new orphans – earthquake survivors - arrived at the institution yesterday.

We are still unable to reach these orphanages: Abazhou CWI (52 children) and Mianzhu SWI

Please give what you can to help the children who survive go on with their lives.

Thank you for your tremendous support. Although it is heartbreaking to write these reports, we are so honored to be in a position to help during this terrible time.

with love, Jenny

May 15, 2008

Further News on the Earthquakes in China

Dear Friends,

I know you have been waiting eagerly for more news of how the children are faring during the aftermath of the disastrous earthquake in Sichuan.

When something terrible like this happens, confusion is everywhere and rumors spread. All of us are so worried about the children. We are trying to be scrupulously careful to pass along only information that we’ve been able to verify.

We have now set up a procedure whereby we can get an update from the Ministry of Civil affairs each day. They are supervising all relief efforts so have the most complete and accurate information available. We also now have contact information for all affected welfare institutions and have begun the process of reaching out to them directly to see if they need help.

As of now, Wednesday afternoon in China, there are 12,012 people dead and 7,841 missing in Sichuan alone, and the numbers continue to rise. 26,206 people are living in temporary shelters. Only 30 children of 900 have been rescued from the collapsed high school in Dujiangyan, Sichuan. At least 20 children were buried in the collapse of a primary school in Liangping, Chongqing.

An update on the Chengdu CWI: There has been some foundation damage to the rehab building and some cracked walls in other buildings, which are being carefully inspected. The children’s building is in the best shape and all children have been moved to the first floor but spend most of the day outside, weather permitting – or in the institution buses if there is rain. All institution staff and HTS staff are working around the clock to care for the children and keep them safe.

May 15, 2008

Half the Sky Earthquake Update - May 15

HANZHONG COUNTY SOCIAL WELFARE INSTITUTION, SHAANXI
HANZHONG COUNTY SOCIAL WELFARE INSTITUTION, SHAANXI

Dear Friends,

As word comes of the hundreds, maybe thousands of children lost in the earthquake, I am finding these emails almost too painful to write. When I think of so many parents who have lost their only child - so many children newly orphaned - so many families destroyed - there are no words….

As of now, Thursday afternoon in China, there are 14,866 people confirmed dead, 14,463 in Sichuan Province. There are 22,438 people reported missing – 21,020 of them in Deyang alone. There have been 3,300 aftershocks and they continue.

In Chengdu, the city continues to experience aftershocks and the orphanage in Chengdu afraid that its water supply will be cut off again. The orphanage staff is also having trouble finding sufficient supplies of milk and formula. In Mianyang, Hanzhong, and Dujiangyan, the children have been evacuated and basic supplies are scarce.

Our hearts and prayers today are especially with the parents who have lost their children in the collapse of schools - Muyu, Xinjian, Juyuan, Liangping, and the rest.

Please give what you can to Half the Sky Children’s Emergency Fund to help the children who survive go on with their lives.

Cracked walls and a crumbling foundation forced the children
Cracked walls and a crumbling foundation forced the children
 
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