From Dalai Lama in Australia Ltd.
Earthquake in Tibetan area of Kyigudo, Yushu
As you may have already heard, a strong earthquake measuring 6.9 magnitude has struck the Tibetan area of Kyigudo area of the Amdo Province of Tibet, (Chinese: Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province) with the epicentre at Kyigudo city in what China refers to as Jiaku.
The quake struck early on Wednesday morning, devastating up to 85 percent of the mud and wood houses, monasteries, hospitals, schools along with power and water infrastructure in the region.
The latest reports indicate that up to 800 people have lost their lives and many thousands are injured. However, unconfirmed sources including those from Tibetans living in exile, originally from the quake hit area who have managed to communicate with family within the region, place these numbers much higher.
One Tibetan who said he spoke to someone in his village puts the death toll around 3000. There are still many buried under rubble with rescue efforts hinder by the lack of rescue equipment. Survivors and Chinese soldiers are trying to pull them out with human labour only. Reports are that the Chinese government have sent in teams and equipment to assist with the rescue efforts along with blankets and tents as the overnight temperatures are near freezing.
His Holiness has offered prayers for the victims of the earthquake, saying from Dharamsala in India, ‘I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and property as a result of the earthquake that struck Kyigudo this morning. We pray for those who have lost their lives in this tragedy and their families and others who have been affected.
It is my hope that all possible assistance and relief work will reach these people. I am also exploring how I too can contribute to these efforts’.
His Holiness’ representative here in Australia Mr Sonam Dagpo, said from his office in Canberra, ‘I feel very sad on the loss of lives and sufferings of the living. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the families who lost their lives’.
The Tibetan Information Office and Dalai Lama in Australia are deeply saddened by the devastation and loss of life and have organised with Global Development Group, an Australian based aid agency, to launch an appeal to direct aid to the victims urgently in need of assistance. The Global Development Fund is a charity organisation carrying out humanitarian projects with approved partners around the world.
Rob Keldoulis, the Chairman of DLIA, said today, ‘the need for quick action is most pressing. Natural disasters such as this are a tragedy wherever they occur, but as supporters of His Holiness and the Tibetan people, this particular one strikes very close to home’.
Your help is most urgently needed for those affected in the region, the overwhelming majority of them being Tibetans. Whatever support you can give towards immediate assistance for medicine, clothing and food, and also long-term support for rebuilding schools and health clinics, would be very much appreciated.
Please, we urgently request your help in assisting the Tibetans in the Kyigudo area who have been affected by this devastating earthquake. We assure you that whatever amount you can offer, however large or small, will go directly to assisting the people in the area.
Please donate online at www.globaldevelopment.org.au, Project number J629 or go directly to the donation page https://www.globaldevelopment.org.au/donations.php?for=J629_Yushu_emergency_Qinhai_China
We thank you in advance for your generous response to this appeal.
There are many other international appeals. If you would prefer to donate to one of these, please do so. The important thing is that assistance is offered.
Footnote: “Project ‘Yushu emergency Qinhai China J629’ is an approved emergency relief project of Global Development Group (ABN 57 102 400 993), an Australian Non Government Orgainsation that carries out humanitarian and emergency relief projects and provides long term solutions to poverty. Australian and USA donations for approved emergency relief and development activities are tax deductible. Global Development Group takes responsibility for the project according to AusAID rules and provides a governance role to the project. For more information go to: http://www.globaldevelopment.org.au“