Belgium sends EUR 650,000 to quake-stricken China
The emergency aid will go to the victims of the earthquake which hit China on Monday.15 May 2008
BELGIUM - Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht announced Wednesday evening that Belgium would send EUR 650,000 in emergency aid to the victims of the earthquake Monday which ravaged the southwest of China in Sichuan province.
On Tuesday, the foreign minister had announced that Belgium would earmark EUR 250,000 for China. But given the extent of the disaster and the rare appeal by China for aid, Belgium will now more than double the original amount proposed.
On Monday, a major earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, jolted China's south-western Sichuan Province. Several lower-scale earthquakes and aftershocks followed in the same area. The quake destroyed many buildings, as well as infrastructure. This is the deadliest quake to hit China in three decades.
According to the latest reports by the official Chinese Xinhua news agency, more than 19,500 people have died and many more have been injured or are still missing.
Many schools were destroyed, including one that had at least 900 students in it.
About 130,000 army and paramilitary troops have been assisting in the rescue effort. Three days after the quake, hopes of pulling survivors from the ruins are dimming and the rescuers appear to be hampered by lack of specialised equipment.
[flandersenews.be / Expatica]