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Red Cross raises 236 million yuan for Lushan

By earthquake | Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-24 20:37

BEIJING - The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) said Wednesday that it has raised donations worth 236 million yuan ($37.8 million) from across the country for Lushan earthquake victims.

The RCSC started receiving donations for Lushan on Saturday afternoon, after a 7.0-magnitude quake hit the county in southwest China's Sichuan Province, said Wang Haijing, vice chairman of the RCSC, in an interview with Xinhua.

The 236 million yuan donated was the figure as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The society has allocated 55.68 million yuan of donations to quake affected areas, including 15.94 million yuan in cash and 39.74 million yuan in goods such as coats, tents and drugs, said Wang.

The RCSC has also sent 113 rescue vehicles and 414 rescuers to the quake zone, the vice chairman said.

The reputation of the RCSC took a major hit in 2011, when a young woman calling herself Guo Meimei used social media to say she was a manager in the organization and openly flaunted wealth and extravagance.

The incident led to public anger as people speculated the organization had embezzled their money.

Wang acknowledged that the Guo Meimei incident had affected donations for Lushan, as members of the public were hesitant to donate quake-relief money via the RCSC.

"But the major task currently is to carry out relief work well. The rescue task at the moment remains arduous, and we'd better concentrate on quake relief rather than devote ourselves to explaining or responding to various hearsays," said Wang.

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