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February 5, 2001

Governor Ryan Urges Illinoisans to Help Indian Earthquake Victims

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George Ryan today announced the State of Illinois and the Red Cross are joining together to set up a special relief effort that will allow Illinois residents to support the relief work in India following last month's earthquake. The earthquake killed thousands and left tens of thousands more injured and homeless.

"Nearly 20 thousand people have died as a result of this quake, and the numbers are likely to go even higher," Governor Ryan said. "The injured and homeless deserve as much help as they can get, and we have a responsibility to try and get them that help, that's why we're teaming up with the Red Cross."

The Red Cross and other relief agencies are in India now. Their biggest need is money, so they can purchase food, shelter, medical supplies and other resources to help the victims in the fastest and most efficient way.

"The American Red Cross has committed $185,000 for an initial comprehensive relief package in addition to deploying a seven-member response team to India," said Bill Braden, CEO of American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. "The best way to help people affected by the earthquake in India and other international disasters is by making a cash donation. Financial donations to this fund help ensure that individuals and families continue to receive desperately needed relief."

Illinois and the Red Cross have a longstanding relationship. The Red Cross is a member of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Operations Center, and works closely with IEMA responding to disasters here in Illinois.

"Our hearts go out to the people of India," Governor Ryan added. "More than a hundred thousand Indian Americans call Illinois home, and we should do all we can to provide support and comfort, both overseas and here, in this time of tragedy."

Governor Ryan also noted that Illinois is not immune to the threat of earthquakes. A lot of residents of Southern Illinois live along the New Madrid Fault.

Illinois residents wishing to help the victims of the India Earthquake can do so through three methods:

  • by credit card at 1-800-HELP-NOW;

  • by secure transaction at the Red Cross website at www.redcross.org;

  • by sending a check made payable to the:

International Response Fund (India)
American Red Cross
75 Remittance Drive-Suite 1907
Chicago, IL 60675-1907


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