- From the Tibet Foundation -
You may have already heard the sad news of the devastating earthquake (a 6.9 magnitude) this morning at 07.49 (23.49 GMT) in Yushu (Kyedudo in Tibetan) in the northwest Province of Qinghai. This news has been widely broadcast on Chinese television and by the BBC.
Yushu County is 800km (500 miles) southwest of the provincial capital Xining. It borders the Tibet Autonomous Region in the west and Kandze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the east.
Having worked in this region in the past, Tibet Foundation is familiar with the area and is already in contact with local people and local authorities. Ninety percent of the population there is ethnic Tibetan. The area is one of the poorest and remotest regions in the country with very inadequate communication and infrastructure.
The powerful tremor struck around 8 am local time followed by several other quakes, destroying or damaging almost all the houses, also school buildings, medical clinics and hospitals in the county capital, Kyekudo. Information regarding nearby areas is not available at the moment due to landslides and the breakdown of telecommunications. The official report of casualties states that some 400 are dead and thousands more injured. The unofficial and unconfirmed news from local people is three times greater than this.
The Chinese government has a good record of responding efficiently to such emergencies. The government and the Chinese Red Cross have already sent officials to assess the situation. Due to the remoteness of the region and poor infrastructure it could be a very challenging task.
We are directly in touch with some local people and local officers, and the Foundation representative in the nearby Kandze Prefecture is coordinating our assessment of the situation. Your help is most urgently needed for the Tibetans in the region. 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. All funds raised by Tibet Foundation will go immediately to the people in need with no intermediary agencies.
Please, we urgently request you to help the Tibetans in Kyekudo 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 Kyekudo.
Send your cheque made payable to Tibet Foundation (Yushu Earthquake) to Tibet Foundation, 2. St. James’s Market, London, SW1Y 4SB, UK