Yao sets up hotline for quake victims

Houston Rockets star Yao Ming has set up a hotline to help North

American Chinese residents reach family and friends in China

following a series of earthquakes there.

The latest series of quakes struck Wednesday in a remote,

mountainous Tibetan region. At least 589 people have been killed

and more than 10,000 are injured.

“I feel very sad for them,” Yao said Wednesday, before the

Rockets played their season finale against New Orleans. “I wish

the rest of the people there, the families, good treatment. In the

future, we still need a lot of people to help. I am going to find

out what I can do.”

Yao, out this season after left foot surgery, created a

foundation in June 2008, about a month after a massive earthquake

struck the Sichuan province. Yao created his foundation with a $2

million donation to rebuild schools in the affected area.

Yao said he’s not sure yet what role his foundation will play in

the latest recovery effort.

“This happened now, so, we still don’t know,” Yao said. “Lot

of questions. We have some experience now. Obviously, we can do

better than last time.”

The hotline number is (718) 766-9636. A recorded message in

English and Mandarin asks the caller to enter the phone number of

the person they are trying to reach in China.