Business leaders in Vancouver’s Chinese community yesterday appealed for donations to China’s relief efforts as the death toll in Monday’s earthquake continues to climb.

An estimated 15,000 people are dead and at least 25,000 missing in what’s being called the worst disaster to hit the country in more than 30 years.

Bing Wu, president of the Canadian Sichuanese Friendship Association, said his hometown is 70 km from the earthquake epicentre.

“My parents, brother and his wife are still there, so I ask for a hand,” he said, holding up a loonie.

“Just one dollar means one bottle of water, one piece of bread, one bowl of rice, one more life that could be saved.”

Consul Jian Wang said seeing news footage of the rescue efforts brings him to tears.

“My colleagues and I are always depressed and emotional,” he said, adding it’s comforting to see so many people outside China offering aid.

Mike Jang, president of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver (CBA), which is spearheading the community’s fundraising campaign, said all donations will go to the Canadian Red Cross.

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