On 3 August 2014, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 hit Zhaotong City in China’s southeastern Yunnan Province.
The epicentre of the quake was just 14 miles from the city, which suffered damage and experienced hundreds of aftershocks. China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs initiated the highest level of national disaster response, with 617 people reported killed, nearly 90,000 houses having collapsed and 129,000 houses damaged, leaving 65,000 families homeless.
Zhaotong City officials reported that, in total, the quake affected almost 1 million people.
ACT Alliance responded with immediate relief supplies and a rapid assessment of needs. After the initial emergency assistance, concern moved to the reconstruction of water systems and earthquake-resistant housing, rebuilding of livestock pens, provision of seeds to help farmers start up their work again, assistance in livelihood recovery and community-based psychosocial support.
ACT has provided community-based psychosocial support in China for the last six years – after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, the 2010 Yushu earthquake, and the 2013 Yuan earthquake.
This work has included recovering a community centre from which to give support, and creating opportunities to mobilise local communities to organise and participate in events, entertainment, education and communication.