IFAW Sends Relief Supplies to Earthquake Epicenter
Sunday morning before sunrise, six trucks loaded with earthquake relief supplies went through the quiet streets of Beijing towards the railway station. This is IFAW’s first shipment of supplies and equipment, bound for Mianyang city, near the earthquake’s epicenter. Mianyang alone lost over three million animals in the massive earthquake that hit Sichuan, China.
According to the Livestock and Veterinarian department of Mianyang city, 300,000 animals are believed to have survived the earthquake yet in need of food and water. IFAW’s first shipment contained 10 generators, 150 tents, 100 water pumps, 10,000 meters of fencing material, masks, gloves and disinfectants, valuing over US$60,000.
Friday morning, IFAW office learned from the Mianyang city representative office in Beijing that a train load of quake relief supplies will be shipped to Mianyang via the newly repaired railway. Ms. Song from the rep. office said that if IFAW can put together our relief supplies, the scheduled freight train can accommodate our donation.
From the time of hearing of this opportunity to the time these supplies were loaded onto the freight train, it took the IFAW China office less than 48 hours. Everyone worked around the clock, buying the supplies, arranging transport, making payments and liaising with the various government agencies along the way.
“The disaster has brought tremendous sufferings to millions of lives.” Said Grace Ge Gabriel, IFAW’s Asia Regional Director, “We express our deepest sympathy to the victims of the earthquake. In addition to providing supplies to aid humanitarian relief efforts, we are prepared to send in a team of experts specialized in disaster response to rescue animals and prevent the spread of disease.”
IFAW has provided emergency relief to areas devastated by natural disasters such as the earthquake in Kobe Japan, the Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in the USA. IFAW’s assistance to rescue both people and animals includes dispatching search and rescue teams, providing medical supplies and equipment and inoculating animals to prevent the spread of disease.
“We are urgently sourcing vaccinations for both human and animals and will deliver them to the disaster area as quickly as possible. Effective inoculation and humane handling of animals in the disaster is a scientifically proven method to prevent disease.” Added Gabriel, “For many human victims, their family animal maybe all they have left. Saving these animals is vitally important for people to get their livelihood back, to heal and to find comfort in the months and years ahead, as Sichuan rebuilds.”
On the loading platform at the Beijing train station, Mianyang city representative in Beijing thanked IFAW for the timely assistance and pledged to distribute the supplies to the victims in the epicenter as soon as possible.