Storms destroy 107,000 homes in China

Faith-based organizations focus on helping most vulnerable families.

Nanjing, China | January 29, 2008

Unusually fierce snowstorms in central, eastern and southern China have forced the evacuation of more than 800,000 and is being blamed for the destruction of 100,000 homes.

Amity Foundation, a member of the faith-based disaster response network ACT International, reported that while the government is providing significant assistance, the severity and scale of the disaster will require additional help.

According to Amity, there will be a need for rice and quilts, and vast needs in terms of the reconstruction of collapsed and uninhabitable homes. A large number of livestock upon which many poor families are dependent for income have died due to the severe weather or because of their pens collapsing. Access to potable water is also a problem in some areas.

The provinces most seriously impacted are Hunan, Hubei, Anhui and Jiangsu. The severe winter weather - the worst in 50 years - has led to the collapse of as many as 107,000 houses and damaged 399,000 others.

Zhenyao Wang, president of the government's Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Department, Ministry of Civil Affairs, told the media, "A total of 60 million people from 14 provinces are living with snow that (has) rarely (been) seen in the last 30 years."

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