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Plan rolls out aid response to China floods

14-year-old Ye's home was badly damaged by the flooding.

17 July 2012: Plan China has launched its response after seasonal monsoon rains caused landslides and floods in Shaanxi Province, central China. More than 300,000 people in 11 counties have been affected by the disaster.

After an initial assessment by Plan’s emergency response team along with government partners, Plan decided to invest about US$130,000 in relief efforts in Shaanxi.

Plan will reach more than 3,000 children by repairing 4 schools in Xixiang County and fixing a bridge and setting up a Child Centred Development Network to coordinate efforts in Hanyin County. Plan will also provide school materials, meals and bedding for affected students. In Nan Zheng County 1,000 children's relief kits have been distributed, containing items warm like clothes, bed sheets, soap and shoes.

School books washed away

“My books have been washed away,” said 14-year old Ye, whose house collapsed. “I cannot fall asleep and am afraid of the flood happening again.”

In early-July, rainstorms, floods and landslides hit Shaanxi, forcing people from their homes and damaging crops, schools, roads and communications networks. Thousands of children are now unable to go to school and safely continue their education.

“The rainstorm lasted more than 4 hours on the early morning of 4 July,” recalled Yang Pu, headmaster of Tai Ping Primary School, Chengguan Township, Hanyin.

“On that morning, the water level in the school reached more than 50 centimetres deep and school equipment on the first floor was all underwater,” he added.

The rain cometh

In Sangyuan Township, Xixiang, more than 900 students were in class when the rains came and caused flooding up to 80 centimetres deep within minutes. Luckily, teachers and villagers worked together to get the children to safety, reported a local television station.

“Lots of roads, bridges and riverbanks were damaged," said Ms Zhang Hongyu, chairperson of the Hanyin County Women’s Federation. Among the infrastructure casualties was the pedestrian bridge in Wuyi Village, Hanyin, which is used by more than 11,000 people every day, including 1,200 children going to and from school.

The washed-away bridge, now a major headache for everyone in the area, will be repaired by Plan and local partners.

If the bridge cannot be repaired by the time the new semester starts in September, students will have to walk at least an hour longer to get to class.