What's New Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks About Us Statements & Documents GA Sessions Highlights China & UN News in Photo About China Quick Links
Home > What's New
Press Release 2008/05/16 - 5.12 earthquake: 22069 dead, 168669 injured, 88067 hospitalized; President in quake zone to encourage survivors and oversee relief; Saving lives remains the top priority
[Released in New York at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, 16 May 2008]




350 East 35th Street, New York, NY 10016    Tel: 1 (212) 655-6197    Fax: 1 (212) 220-6543


For Immediate Release

Press Section
May 16, 2008


China quake death toll rises to 22,069 
168,669 injured; 88,067 hospitalized
President in quake zone encouraging survivors to be strong
President & Premier: Saving lives remains the top priority


  1. Wenchun earthquake: China's most powerful and destructive since 1949, exceeding Tangshan earthquake in 1976 (which killed 242,000) in magnitude and intensity.
  2. Death toll from earthquake rose to 22,069 by 2:00 p.m. Fri. May 16.  Over 88,000 victims had been hospitalized, 17% of whom were severely injured.  In Sichuan, 21,577 killed, 159,006 injured; 14,000 remain buried; 27,560+ rescued from rubble, and 480,7200+ temporarily resettled.
  3. At least 4.7 million houses collapsed or damaged: Over 4 million in Sichuan, 400,000+ in Gansu and 300,000 in Shaanxi.
  4. On Thu. May 15, rescuers managed to find, rescue and help to safety 10503 stranded people (including those excavated from ruins); 13436 injured survivors received medical treatment.
  5. 4,432 aftershocks in earthquake-hit southwest China; the strongest was 6.5 in magnitude. 
  6. As of midnight May 15, over 120,000 troops have been involved in quake relief. On Thursday: 113 sorties of transporters and helicopters flights delivered 145 tons of relief materials to affected regions. 255.5 km (158.76 miles) roads reconstructed/repaired. 120,000+ stranded people transported to safety.
  7. 181,460 tents, 170,000 cotton-padded clothes and 220,000 quilts have been allocated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs for the quake-hit areas.
  8. China welcomes and appreciates kind offers by international community. Japanese, Russian, Korean rescuers arrive in earthquake-stricken areas.
  9. Donations to quake-hit areas reaches 460 million U.S. dollars, 4 days after major earthquake.
  10. China uses 15 satellites to support quake relief.

http://www.china.org.cn/    http://english.gov.cn/    http://www.chinaview.cn/
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/    http://english.cctv.com/    http://www.china-un.org/

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says 5.12 Wenchuan earthquake was the country's most destructive since 1949, as more than 50,000 people are feared dead in Sichuan province alone. Early Friday Premier Wen was quoted as saying the quake was even more powerful in both magnitude and intensity than Tangshan earthquake in 1976 that killed 242,000.  Soldiers and civilian volunteers continue to pull survivors from collapsed buildings, where an estimated 30,000 people are buried beneath the debris.

The death toll from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province rose to 22,069 nationwide as of 2 p.m. Friday, 16 May 2008, while 168,669 people were injured, according to the Emergency Response office of the State Council.

Ø        In Sichuan, 21,577 people were killed, and 159,006 injured; 14,000 remain buried; at least 27,560 have been rescued from rubble,and over 480,7200 have been temporarily resettled, according to Vice Governor Mr. Li Chengyun.

Ø        In its neighboring regions, 364 were killed in Gansu, 109 in Shaanxi, 15 in Chongqing, 2 in Henan, one in Yunnan, and one in Hubei. A rescue headquarters headed by Premier Wen Jiabao under the State Council had said on Thursday that it feared total death toll of Monday's quake could top 50,000.

Nearly 100 hours after Monday's powerful quake, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen on Friday again urged continued efforts in quake rescue and relief work, giving top priority to saving people's lives.  

Ø        President Hu said en route to Sichuan, "We need to make greater efforts in treating the injured, restoring the transportation, telecommunications and power supply infrastructure in quake-stricken areas and ensure basic living conditions for local residents." 

Ø        A meeting held between the two Chinese top leaders said the previous relief work had been progressing orderly and effectively, which paved a smooth way for the subsequent tasks. In face of the pressing time, uttermost efforts must be made if only there exists the slimmest hope of survivors, the meeting said.

Ø        In the meantime, a total of 181,460 tents, 170,000 cotton-padded clothes and 220,000 quilts had been allocated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs for the quake-hit areas. The ministry is planning to arrange adoptions of quake orphans, with the number of homeless children increasing and more concerned organizations and individuals proposing for adoption. The orphans are currently taken care of by local governments.




Thursday, 15 May 2008

4,432 aftershocks in earthquake-hit southwest China:  By midnight Thursday, 15 May 2008, 4,432 aftershocks had occurred after a devastating quake rocked southwestern Sichuan Province on Monday, according to Sichuan Seismological Bureau. The strongest aftershock was 6.5 magnitude.

1,412 overseas tourists safe in quake-hit regions: As of 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, 1,412 overseas tourists were confirmed safe in the quake-hit regions after a devastating earthquake rocked southwest China's Sichuan Province. 


130,000 troops in rescue operations: As of 8:00 a.m. Thursday, more than 130,000 troops were engaged in rescue operations in areas ravaged by the quake. Rescuers had reached all 58 counties and towns stricken by Monday's massive quake. Military transporters and helicopters had taken 300 flights to transport or airdrop rescuers and relief supplies. Sniffer dogs were also dispatched to the quake-hit region to assist in search-and-rescue.


Ø        The railways are being used to ship in soldiers and relief aid. Of the 56 trains carrying 28,000 troops to quake-hit areas, 21 trains, or more than 10,000 soldiers arrived before 6 p.m. Thursday, according to Chinese Ministry of Railways. A total of 844 railcars of civil materials are also en route, including 79,700 tents, 828,600 boxes of water, 18,870 pieces of medicine, and 351,100 cotton-padded coats and blankets. Also on the way are 157 railcars of rescue machinery and ambulances, 7 railcars of oil and 69 railcars of steel and other materials.


Ø        As of Thursday morning, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has so far dispatched 72 medical teams with over 2,160 doctors and assistants to the affected areas, along with 20,000 bags of blood and a large amount of medical equipment and medicine worth 37 million yuan (about 5.2 million U.S. dollars). The Health Department of the General Logistic Department of the PLA is sending another 16 medical teams as well as more ambulances and other kinds of medical vehicles to the affected areas, to carry injured, prevent epidemic diseases and conduct surgical operations in the field.


Ø         More than 6,800 PLA parachutists were in Deyang and Mianzhu cities and Wenchuan County, to help relief work. On Wednesday, they rescued 13 people from the ruins, dug up 125 dead bodies, and buried 350 corpses. Meanwhile, they repaired six kilometers of roads, discovered over 20,000 yuan (2,800 U.S. dollars) in cash and returned it to owners, and transported over 50 tonnes of relief goods by hand. Except for a small number of who were parachuted into the affected areas, the majority of them had to march to the site, because of difficult weather conditions.

17 punished for spreading disruptive rumors: China's public security departments have punished 17 rumormongers in the wake of the disastrous earthquake as of Thursday, according to the Ministry of Public Security. Public security bureaux in 11 provinces and municipalities found more than 40 messages that circulated malicious rumors about the earthquake on the Internet and found 17 people were responsible. These people "spread false information, made sensational statements and sapped public confidence." Among them, two were put in custody by local public security bureaux, a means of punishment that ranges from one to 15 days' detention, another two were asked to write apologies and another 13 were given warnings.




Friday, 16 May 2008


President arrives in quake-hit Sichuan: Upon arrival in Mianyang at Friday noon, President Hu jintao discussed the quake-relief work with Premier Wen Jiabao, who had been directing relief work in the disaster-hit areas since Monday.  They agreed that "rescuers must reach not only towns but also all villages." The survivors who had been rescued must be transferred to safer places in time, and children who lost their parents and elders who lost their family members in the quake must be properly cared for.


Ø        President encourages quake victims to overcome difficulties: Chinese President Hu Jintao Friday went to Beichuan County of Mianyang City to visit people affected by the southwest China earthquake, encouraging them to be confident in overcoming hardships caused by the disaster. Hu said, "We know you've suffered. The quake destroyed your house and injured members of your family. We feel your anguish. The Party, army and all the people have been mobilized to support the quake relief work. We will make every effort to rescue stranded people, treat the injured and make proper arrangements for the victims, as well as helping you to rebuild your homes." He encouraged the victims to be strong, overcome difficulty with confidence, courage and strength.


Ø        President Hu went to the Beichuan Middle School, where all the teaching buildings collapsed in the quake. Knowing there were still 300 teachers and students buried in the ruins, Hu said, "Saving lives is still an urgent task. We should rescue them by every possible means as long as there is a glimmer of hope."


Ø        During the flight from Beijing to Mianyang, Hu said that after several days of endeavor, the relief work has been comprehensively launched and is proceeding in a "forceful, orderly and effective" way. However, "The challenge is still severe, the task is still arduous and the time is pressing. We must make every effort, race against time and overcome all difficulties. We need to make greater efforts in treating the injured, restoring the transportation, telecommunications and power supply infrastructure in quake-stricken areas and ensure basic living conditions for local residents."


Japanese, Russian and Korean rescuers arrive in Sichuan: The first Russian rescue team of 50 search-and-rescue professionals and medical doctors arrived in Chengdu on Friday. The team left immediately for Mianzhu, one of the worst affected areas in Sichuan. (A second Russian team of 47 rescuers is expected to arrive in Chengdu on Saturday.) Also on May 16, the first 31 members of the Japanese rescue team arrived at Qingchuan county. They will soon be reinforced by the second Japanese team of 29 professional rescuers. A 47-member rescue team from Republic of Korea also arrived in Chengdu. It is heading for the city of Shifang.


China welcomes and appreciates kind offers by international community: On Fri. May 16, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said that the Chinese government welcomed and appreciated the offers of many countries to contribute relief materials to the earthquake-hit areas. He asked foreign governments and other official agencies intending to make donations in kind to contact the Chinese Foreign Ministry or local Chinese embassies or consulates-general. The Foreign Ministry will have immediate contact with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, which will handle matters related to donations in kind and transport the materials to the affected areas promptly.  Qin Gang said on Thu. May 15 that by 2 pm May 15, a total of 151 countries and 14 regional and international organizations have expressed their sympathy and condolences for the damage caused by the disaster.


Deng Xiaoping's widow donates all her savings for earthquake relief: Zhuo Lin, 92-year old widow of China's late leader and chief designer of the Reform and Opening Drive Deng Xiaoping, has donated all her savings and money raised from family members, totaling 100,000 yuan (about 14,280 U.S. dollars), for quake relief, according to the Red Cross Society of China. Zhuo says she will spare no efforts to help the victims in the affected areas, according to the sources.


China manipulates 15 satellites for quake relief: Chinese ground controllers have initiated an emergency response program to ensure that 15 of its satellites in the space are providing proper support for the rescue and relief operations in the quake-stricken Sichuan Province in the southwest. The 15 satellites fall into nine types and are providing navigation, weather forecast and remote sourcing services, among others, said sources at the the Xi'an Satellite Measuring and Control Center, in northwestern Shaanxi Province. Though also affected by the 7.8-magnitude quake on Monday, the center immediately turned into the emergency mode and set up an expert team.Thousands of emergency applications orders were uploaded to the satellites to make sure they could provide accurate and timely data to the users, the sources said. All the Chinese satellites on orbits are operating in normal conditions, the sources said.  (Xinhua)




Donations to quake-hit areas reaches 460 million U.S. dollars, 4 days after quake: By 4:00 p.m. Fri. May 16, a total of 3.175 billion Chinese yuan or 460 million U.S. dollars of donations in cash and in kind had been received (2.799 billion in cash), including 2.595 billion yuan domestic donations (2.379 billion yuan in cash) and 580 million (84 million dollars) from 19 foreign governments and 4 international organizations (420 million yuan or 60.8 million dollars in cash). 81.73 domestic; 18.27% international.



Map of Sichuan showing death tolls, Zipingpu Dam and Jian River by May 16, 2008. (AFP)


The Ministry of Civil Affairs of China has authorized the Red Cross Society of China and China Charity Federation to receive donations for quake-hit areas.


How to Donate to the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China


Ministry of Civil Affairs (http://www.mca.gov.cn/) 

Tel:        (+8610) 58123111, 58123222, 5812361, 58123617, 58123612

Fax:        (+8610) 58123613


Address: 147 Beiheyan Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100721


Bank Account for Donation in RMB (Chinese yuan):

Account No.:        11001007400058224610

Beneficiary:           Ministry of Civil Affairs

Bank Name:         Beijing Dongsi Branch, China Construction Bank

Address:               8 Meishuguan Houjie, Dongcheng District, Beijing


Bank Account for Donation in Foreign Currencies:

Account No.:        00100252328091014

Beneficiary:           Ministry of Civil Affairs

Bank Name:          Banking Department, Bank of China Head Office

Address:              1 Fuxingmennei Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing



How to Donate to the Red Cross Society of China


The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC, http://www.redcross.org.cn/) called for donations to help victims in the earthquake-striken areas in southwest China's Sichuan Province. The commodities in urgent need such as tents, cotton-padded quilts, food, drinking water are not so easily be transported to the disaster-hit areas due to transportation difficulties, according to the RCSC. Donations in cash would be preferred at this stage, said an official with the RCSC.


Donations can be made directly to the RCSC through the following bank accounts:


Bank Account for Donation in RMB (Chinese yuan):

Account No.:         0200001009014413252

Beneficiary:           Red Cross Society of China

Bank Branch:        Dongsi South Sub-branch, Beijing Branch, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Swift Code:           ICBKCNBJBJM


Bank Account for Donation in Foreign Currencies:

Account No.:        7112111482600000209

Beneficiary:          Red Cross Society of China

Bank Branch:       Jiuxianqiao Sub-branch, Beijing Branch, China CITIC Bank

Swift Code:          CIBKCNBJ100


The RCSC also opened a hotline +8610-6513-9999 and +8610-6402-7620 for enquiries and consultations during the daytime (Beijing Time).  Internet Donation platform: http://www.cncard.net/08sc/



How to Donate to China Charity Federation


China Charity Federation donation hotline: (+8610) 66083260, 66083264, 66083194

Address: Floor 7, Xinlong Building, No. 33 Er Long Jia, Xicheng District, Beijing 100032


Bank Account for Donation in RMB (Chinese yuan):

Account No.:        0200002809014450409

Beneficiary:          China Charity Federation

Bank Branch:       Xisi Sub-branch, Beijing Branch, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China


Bank Account for Donation in Foreign Currencies:

Account No.:        00100914908091014

Beneficiary:           China Charity Federation

Bank Branch:       Banking Department, Bank of China Head Office



How to Donate to CCTF


Donations can be made to China Children and Teenagers' Fund (CCTF) by calling the either of the two hotline numbers:  +8610-6510-3485 and +8610-6510-3491, or logging on the organization's website at  www.cctf.org.cn



Released at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, 16 May 2008 (Eastern Daylight Time in the U.S.)