World Vision responds after China earthquake

World Vision is distributing hygiene and child-friendly kits to families made homeless by a powerful earthquake in China's Sichuan province on Saturday.

According to state media, the 7.0-magnitude earthquake has killed over 200 people and injured 11,500.

Many have been left homeless after the quake brought down buildings and phone lines.

The quake was felt by relatives of World Vision staff living in provincial capital Chengdu, some 140km from the epicentre in Ya'an.

People in the neighbouring provinces of Guizhou, Gansu, Shaanxi, and Yunnan also felt the tremors.

"I talked to my mother right after the earthquake hit," said Merry Zou, an emergency affairs officer with World Vision in China.

"She said this earthquake felt much stronger than the one in 2008. She ran and hid in the bathroom, but my grandmother couldn't get out of her bed because the shaking was so strong."

The earthquake has affected remote areas of Sichuan province. The BBC reports rescuers travelling on foot to access areas of Boaxing County because of damage to the roads.

Pope Francis said today that his thoughts were with everyone affected by the earthquake.

He said: "We pray for the victims and for those who are suffering because of the violent earthquake."