Impact of China quake reverberates in Bay Area

Chinatown denizens were in shock but ready to help out with relief efforts after hearing the news that an earthquake killed about 10,000 people in China’s Sichuan province on Monday, local community leaders said.

Many rescue officials fear the death toll will rise, as an unknown number of Chinese citizens remain trapped underneath rubble from the magnitude 7.9 temblor.

The earthquake occurred in central China, hundreds of miles north of Guangdong province, the ancestral home of many Chinese immigrants living in San Francisco.

Because of the distance, it’s unlikely many Chinatown residents felt an immediate familial impact from the temblor, but the San Francisco community would still rally to support its people, said Wilma Pang, a Chinatown resident who’s running for District 3 Supervisor.

“I am sure there will be a response from this community,” Pang said. “Everyone is concerned with the stricken areas, and I expect to see major fundraising efforts led by Chinatown organizations.”

Vincent Pan, executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, a local civil-rights group, said the temblor should increase awarenessof the similar earthquake dangers that the Chinatown community faces in San Francisco.

“This certainly heightens the feeling that our own government has to be in the position to respond if something like this happens here,” Pan said.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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