Saturday, February 02, 2008

Winter Storm in China

For a couple of days now I've been hearing about the terrible winter storm in China, but it wasn't until today that I understood how dire the situation really is.

Half the Sky sent out an update on how this is affecting the orphanages across China. Here's part of their email:

"Welfare institutions (orphanages) in south and central China are having the hardest time dealing with the weather disaster. This part of the country is simply not equipped to deal with extreme cold or heavy snow and ice. The most common critical problems are power outages, lack of safe drinking and cooking water, lack of fuel, diapers and public transportation....They need quilts. They need warm clothing. They need coal, water, disposable diapers and food.

In Chenzou, Hunan Province the orphanage has had no electricity or water for six days. They are relying on coal for heat and cooking. The supermarkets and banks are closed. Staff is using personal money for baby food, diapers, coal and water. Costs are rising due to shortages. They have a natural well which, thankfully, is not frozen. Even the older children are helping to fetch water. They have perhaps six days of food remaining. The local government is overwhelmed by the disaster and is unable to help much."

You can read more under HTS Journal in the center column of their site: Half the Sky. Jenny has posted a couple of updates throughout the day and you can read them there. HTS has set up an emergency fund to help all the orphanages in need. You can donate by clicking on the little mouse (next week begins the Year of the Mouse) on their site or clicking HERE.

Here's what Amanda at the Starfish Foster Home wrote today about the storm:

"...Many Chinese prepare to travel over Chinese New Year. It is estimated that about 200 million people travel to reach their families for this the most important event in the calendar year. Imagine the whole population of the France, Italy and the UK using the transport system to travel great distances!!! With this comes some really freaky weather at the worst possible time and most of China's travel is disrupted. I cannot even imagine what would happen if 800,000 people got stuck at a train station. That is exactly what is happening in Guangzhou, a city in China near Hong Kong. Due to the massive electricity failure the trains did not reach Guangzhou and there were all these workers and people waiting for a train in the rain. They have been camped out at the station for more than a week. Can you even imagine getting food, a place to sleep and many of the people have nowhere to go because the factories where they work have closed down for CNY. In the rest of China there have been traffic stuck on impassible roads for four and five days. The government estimated that there has been US$7.5 billion in losses in productivity and food, and that an estimated 60 people have died so far. The price of vegetables have sky rocketed. They activated 1.5 million police and have given out a half a million quilts."

And here are some blizzard photos to show you just how devastating the storm has been.

Please keep the people of China in your prayers and consider giving to HTS to help with the food and warm clothing needed for the little ones across China.

1 incredible comments!:

Sharon said...

This was really scary thinking of bailey in this. I just don't want her to be cold and hungry!! It is hard to even know how to feel when they are not here and I have to trust others to take care of her. How did you go about doing that?!?! I jsut get busy with stupid things like recovering the sofas!