IOC gives $1 million to China earthquake aid
LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- The International Olympic Committee is giving $1 million to aid relief efforts following a deadly earthquake in China, the host of the Summer Olympics.
"This appears to be a major disaster, the scale of which is only just becoming apparent," IOC president Jacques Rogge said Tuesday.
Rogge sent a letter of condolence to Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday, the day the 7.9-magnitude earthquake hit. The quake toppled buildings, schools and a chemical plant in central China, killing more than 12,000 in Sichuan province alone.
Thousands more are still trapped in mounds of concrete, steel and earth in the worst quake in three decades.
The IOC said it will channel the funds through the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, which will distribute the money to the appropriate relief organizations.
Chinese organizers decided to downscale the Olympic torch relay and begin with a minute of silence Wednesday when a leg kicks off in the southeastern city of Ruijin, as a symbolic gesture to the victims. No Olympic venues in Beijing, nearly 900 miles away, were damaged by the quake.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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