Date: 22 May 2008
Emergency health kits capable of providing assistance to 30,000 people for up to one month have been rushed into the quake-affected areas of Sichuan province in China by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO).
One hundred satellite terminals have been deployed to provide accurate coordination of relief and rescue operations by the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as UN aid agencies continue their humanitarian efforts.
State media report that over 41,000 people lost their lives as a result of the massive temblor on 12 May, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale. Some 32,000 people are missing, while more than 250,000 others have sustained injuries. Roughly 5 million people have been left homeless.
ITU said the 100 mobile satellite terminals they are supplying are easily transported by road and air and can be used by both humanitarian workers and quake victims.
ĎI would like to assure the Government that ITU is ready to provide expertise in carrying out telecommunication network damage assessments aimed at paving the way for the rehabilitation of the damaged telecommunications structure,í said Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITUís Telecommunication Development Bureau.
The hand-held Thuraya satellite phones use both satellite and GSM networks and can provide accurate GPS coordinates to support relief and rescue efforts.
For more information, go to Reliefweb at http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/EGUA-7EVNSV?OpenDocument