Wenchuan earthquake: ‘It was only natural for us to help’

Cash and equipment to disaster area

The earthquake which struck in Wenchuan, China, on May 12, 2008 claimed more than 69,000 lives, injured more than 370,000 people, and left at least 17,000 people unaccounted for. Of those who survived, millions were left homeless by the most powerful earthquake to hit the region for 30 years.

At a very early stage following the disaster, the Volvo Group – which has around 4,000 employees in China – decided to contribute to the rescue work in the worst-hit areas. Via the aid organisation China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, the Group donated money, and contributed to the rescue and reconstruction effort with wheel loaders, excavators and trucks. A collection was also made among the Volvo Group’s employees in China.

“The earthquake in Wenchuan, Sichuan, affected all of us,” says Pär Östberg, senior vice president of the Volvo Group in Asia. “It was therefore only natural for us to help with the rescue work.”

Post-quake reconstruction is underway, and the Chinese government is aiming to complete the work within eight years.