WWF-China extends condolences to Sichuan quake victimsA 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Ya'an in southwest China's Sichuan Province at 8:02 a.m. Beijing Time on Saturday, April 20. As of Monday, 188 people are confirmed dead with thousands injured in the disaster.
As an international conservation organization, WWF extends its sincere condolences to the perished and expresses its deepest sympathies in particular to those who have lost their loved ones. Meanwhile, WWF shows its highest respect for the relief personnel and will spare no effort to support its partners in the quake zone in their rescue and rebuilding efforts.
The epicentre, located in Lushan county of Ya’an, with a depth of 13 km, was monitored at 30.3 degrees north latitude and 103.0 degrees east longitude.
Immediately after the quake, WWF moved quickly to reach out to its local partners, confirming that its conservation staff and their families in seven nature reserves were safe. The team that is conducting the Fourth Giant Panda Survey in Heishuihe Nature Reserve, which is close to Lushan County, have been evacuated to safety.
The earthquake has impacted giant pandas habitat in the Qionglai Mountains. Fengtongzhai, just 10km off the epicentre, may become the hardest hit nature reserve. Baoxing County, where Fengtongzhai is located, is the birthplace of the world’s first wild giant panda conservation program. About 143 wild giant pandas are currently distributed across Baoxing County, according to the Third National Giant Panda Survey (1999-2002).
WWF is maintaining close contact with affected nature reserves and local forestry authorities. WWF stands ready to provide assistance that may be needed and looks forward to contributing to the rebuild of the affected giant panda habitat.
For more information, please contact:
Qiu Wei, Senior Communications Officer, WWF-China, Ph: +86 10 6511 6272, Email: email@example.com