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View Full Version : Earthquake in China's Tibetan region, thousands dead



sinobball
04-19-2010, 03:00 AM
It happened about a week ago, but today I finally donated $80 via MercyCorps.

www.mercycorps.com is the site I always used to donate for natural disasters. There are obviously other places, for example Yao Ming Foundation:
https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=27882

Also, all of you "Free Tibet" proponents, such as LuDux, I am counting on YOU to donate as well. Human rights talk sure is interesting but human lives are more precious than empty political slogans.

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Currently the death toll has surpassed 1700 and is expected to rise. Disasters are terrible.

Khalid80
04-19-2010, 07:29 AM
Very sad unfortunate event :(

I know this is a sensitive issue but I have read that the residents of Qinghai province are quite upset that the Chinese government and army haven't been helping out much and didn't take any swift action to deal with this disaster.

I also read that the cultural differences (Ethnic Tibetans living in that region) is probably the main reason why this has happened and due to the issues between Tibetans and the Chinese government.

sinobball
04-19-2010, 07:39 AM
I know this is a sensitive issue but I have read that the residents of Qinghai province are quite upset that the Chinese government and army haven't been helping out much and didn't take any swift action to deal with this disaster.Every time there is a disaster like this there is bound to be complaints. It happened 2 years ago in Sichuan too. The Chinese government has everything to gain publicity-wise by acting swiftly, and any accusation that they are "intentionally slow so that more Tibetans can die" is absurd and propaganda-driven. Because it is a remote region, there are problems with #1 transportation and #2 the really high altitude. But you can read today's NY Times article for a first-hand account:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/19/world/19quake.html

Monks Bolster China’s Quake Relief Effort

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/04/19/world/19quake_CA0/19quake_CA0-articleLarge.jpg
Du Bin for The New York Times
Survivors in Jiegu slept in the open air in a city square on Sunday. Tibetan-run groups have been allowed to offer aid and medical services, unlike in 2008.

By ANDREW JACOBS
Published: April 18, 2010

JIEGU, China — Long after the bulldozers have gone silent and the rescue workers have retired to their tents, the only sound in this earthquake-battered city is the plaintive barking of dogs that have lost their homes, and in many cases, their owners.

As the smoke from a thousand campfires filled the air early Sunday morning, solitary figures shuffled through the darkness, heading to no place in particular. Some, like Tsai Ba Mao, 63, were drawn to a tent off the city’s main square, where Buddhist monks had created a makeshift temple filled with rows of yak-butter lamps. A cardboard sign above the entrance read “Pray for the dead,” written in Chinese and Tibetan.

Like nearly everyone else in Jiegu, a high-altitude city in western Qinghai Province, Ms. Tsai was grappling with loss, in her case, the death of her 34-year-old son in the collapse of the family’s home. “I can’t sleep,” she said. “The pain is too great.”

The earthquake, which struck early Wednesday, killed at least 1,700 people in Jiegu, famed for its horse-racing festival and purebred Tibetan mastiffs. With hundreds of people still buried under rubble, the toll is expected to rise. Everyone, it seems, lost a relative.

The Chinese government has undertaken an aggressive relief effort. In recent days the city has been flooded with soldiers, medics and supplies. The response has been so great, and traffic downtown so bad, that the government has urged volunteers to stay away.

President Hu Jintao, who cut short a state visit to South America after the quake struck, flew to Jiegu on Sunday, consoling victims and promising to rebuild. “There will be new schools!” he wrote on a blackboard in a tent filled with orphaned children, according to Xinhua, the official news agency. “There will be new homes!”

But perhaps just as striking as Beijing’s rescue-and-relief juggernaut is the highly visible operation mounted by Buddhist monks, thousands of whom have traveled long distances from Tibetan areas of the country. They distribute packaged biscuits, tend huge vats of barley and dig for bodies.

Like their makeshift prayer tent in central Jiegu, much of that help has been uncoordinated, and for the moment, tolerated by a government suspicious of Tibetan organizations and especially organized religion.

The Communist Party has long had a tempestuous relationship with the country’s ethnic Tibetans. Ties have been particularly strained since March 2008, when violence broke out across the Tibetan plateau. The worst, in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, left 18 dead and scores wounded, many of them Han Chinese migrants from the east.

Although officials canceled the annual horse-race festival that year, Jiegu has largely remained quiet. “We have not had troubles like other places,” said Aji Suo Nade Ji, 36, a secretary in the local environmental bureau. “Maybe it’s because we have always been given more freedom to practice our culture.”

On Saturday, local monks organized a mass cremation of 1,400 bodies in Jiegu that took place without any government involvement. Since the quake, several Tibetan-run organizations have been allowed to provide aid and medical services. By contrast, many nongovernmental groups were barred from participating in relief efforts during the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province.

Robbie Barnett, the director of the modern Tibetan studies program at Columbia, said he hoped Beijing might see the disaster as an opportunity to sow goodwill. “What’s happening is remarkable and impressive,” he said of the government’s relief effort and its laissez-faire approach to the work of the monks. “The party is certainly good at generosity. They know how to be very generous, and they know how to be ruthless. This is one of those generous times.”

There have been a few uncomfortable moments. Some monks say soldiers blocked them from digging in the rubble during the first days after the quake, and it is widely believed that the government has undercounted the deaths.

But for the most part, the monks have been given wide latitude to carry out their religious duties, which include saying prayers for the dead.

As soon as it went up on Saturday, the prayer tent on Gesar Square became a hub of activity. Not long after a local businessman brought by two generators he had dug from the ruins of his shop, someone delivered power strips, forming a vast cellphone recharging station. A soldier from the People’s Liberation Army donated some gasoline.

Within hours, monks had fired up stoves fueled by donkey dung they had brought from their lamasery in Sichuan Province. Back in the tent, above the blazing row of butter lamps, someone — no one would say who — mounted a photo of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader who is considered a subversive by the Chinese government. When they saw the photo, people held their chests and uttered words of devotion. A few sobbed uncontrollably.

The police, at least on Sunday, did not seem to mind.

Ms. Tsai, the woman who lost her son, wandered into the tent around 3 a.m. and quickly found her calling. Someone had left a box of brass butter lamps, and they had to be cleaned and filled.

By daybreak, as the refugees sleeping on the square began to stir, a monk switched on an amplifier, and chanting began to float out over the city. Ms. Tsai said she was exhausted but at peace, at least for the moment. “The government can help us rebuild,” she said. “But what they can’t do is heal our heartache and pray for our dead.”

Zhang Jing contributed research.

basketballfan73
04-20-2010, 07:54 AM
That should go a long way when they need rescue funds asap.

Test
04-20-2010, 12:50 PM
Strange I didn't heard anything in the news about this, and I am reading all Lithuanian news media like crazy.. Apparently it is not USA or Israel, so nobody cares..

sinobball
04-20-2010, 01:42 PM
Death toll surpassed 2000 and China dedicates a National Day of Mourning (4/21, CBA Finals now delays by 1 day).

Several telethons and charity concerts are held in China. Yi, fresh from NBA arrived in the CBA Finals and donated about $30,000. The CBA players and teams donated an additional $286,000.

mohsena2631
04-20-2010, 01:58 PM
I know this is not a good time for joking but speaking of earthquakes, we have a genius found the true reason of earthquakes !

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/04/senior-iranian-cleric-blames-earthquakes-on-promiscuous-women/1

I am sure even God is ashamed of this genius !!!!

sinobball
04-20-2010, 04:25 PM
I know this is not a good time for joking but speaking of earthquakes, we have a genius found the true reason of earthquakes !The most messed up part is he actually has believers. :rolleyes:

mohsena2631
04-20-2010, 06:37 PM
The most messed up part is he actually has believers. :rolleyes:

I doubt anyone can believe this one, even himself !! this is extremely ridiculous ! I think they sent this illiterate idiot to friday prayer and asked him to say something about earthquake and this idiot didn't find anything better than this !!!

you are right in general , these idiots have believers here, but the number of these believers is dwindling every day !

sinobball
04-20-2010, 06:46 PM
I doubt anyone can believe this one, even himself !! Clearly he isn't alone, here's an idiot from the Christian side:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Robertson_controversies#Remarks_about_2010_Hai ti_Earthquake

To get on topic, money is still desperately needed in the region. While the quake is over, the people are far from out of harm's way:
China steps up plague prevention in quake zone
(Xinhua)

BEIJING - Chances of a plague outbreak in the quake zone were slim, but the health sector still needed to be prepared for the worst, a specialist with China CDC told Xinhua Tuesday.

"The human transmission of plague in Yushu requires direct contact with the Himalayan marmot, but the marmots won't wake up from hibernation till the end of April," said Ni Daxin, an epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) in charge of epidemic risk evaluation of the quake zone.

However, he said the Himalayan marmot, or Tibetan snow pig, might wake earlier because of the quake, so the situation must be closely monitored.

http://www.tibetinfor.com.cn/english/zt/040922_kkxlsl/pic/kkxlsl01_015.jpg

The health ministry warned about outbreak of plague immediately after the 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Yushu last Wednesday, as the region is the origin of the Himalayan marmot plague.

China CDC started assessing the risk of plague on the day of earthquake, as ordered by the ministry.

Yu Dongzheng, a research fellow specialized in epidemic prevention with China CDC, was quoted by the health-ministry-run newspaper as saying, the past five decades witnessed 20 outbreaks of human-to-human transmission of plague in Yushu, the latest in 2004 claiming six lives.

So far, no marmots have been found. As of Tuesday morning, health institutions in the worst-hit Yushu prefecture reported no cases of plague or any other communicable disease, said Ni.

The health ministry Monday issued a notice requiring the epidemic prevention team on the ground to expand monitoring for plague .

The notice also ordered increased education about plague prevention for quake victims, rescue workers and medical workers in the quake zone.

Ni said it's quite necessary, because "Lots of quake relief medical workers are dispatched from non-plague areas, so they must be familiarized with the disease quickly for the sake of early detection."

Besides, there are people hunting marmots for their fur. "People must be warned against this," said Ni.

Meanwhile, China CDC already had delivered 80,000 bilingual disease prevention brochures in Chinese and Tibetan, and 10,000 plague prevention leaflets to the quake zone, with more to go.

Instructions for preventing plague, as well as pamphlets about working in high altitude areas were also delivered.

Besides, "Those developing symptoms of fever, coughing or swelling glands needed to be scanned for plague," said Ni.

Ni also warned of other epidemic hazards in the quake zone, among others, tainted drinking water.

In the worst-hit Jiegu township, there are now seven settlements of quake survivors, the largest sheltering 20,000. Ni said, some of the wells nearby were sterilized, but water from river was not. "The current counter-measure is to educate the quake survivors not to drink unboiled water."

Risks of tuberculosis (TB) infection are mounting, because TB, a highly infectious disease mostly affecting the poor, needs to be treated by consistent medication. Ni said the earthquake might have hindered such treatment.

Ni said, regular medical services in the quake zone needed to be restored as soon as possible.I might just add a few words about donation. Nobody can donate to all the places and I understand that. But if you are financially capable it is a nice thing to do and makes you feel better. In some situations, a small amount really goes a long way. I'll leave it like that.

Mercy Corps, which I always donate to, is one of the trusted NGOs. I hate certain self-proclaimed NGOs that use money for political (but they justify it as "human rights"!) purposes. But Mercy Corps at least AFAIK is a pure relief organization. They cooperate with the government but do things their own way, so the money doesn't go to corrupt officials. They always send me brochures and updates, and while I hope they would spend more for those in need, it's always nice to know where my money is going and how it is being used.

It is personally a dream of mine to do relief work but since I still can't do that I just donate, despite being poor and in debt (I got loans :mad:)!!

PS: if you can't donate you can say a Tibetan Buddhist prayer:
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Om_mani_padme_hum

rikhardur
04-20-2010, 08:38 PM
I think this is being totally overshadowed by the Icelandic volcano.

sinobball
04-20-2010, 08:52 PM
I think this is being totally overshadowed by the Icelandic volcano.which caused how many deaths again?

I don't care what your media says, but to me, a few airplanes grounded vs. 2000+ deaths is a no-brainer. Of course you can start a new thread if you wish.

rikhardur
04-20-2010, 08:54 PM
which caused how many deaths again?

I don't care what your media says, but to me, a few airplanes grounded vs. 2000+ deaths is a no-brainer. Of course you can start a new thread if you wish.
Precisely what I was implying.

sinobball
04-20-2010, 09:06 PM
Precisely what I was implying.I misunderstood you then. It's all good.

LordOfLeyte
04-21-2010, 12:47 AM
from www.payul.com

The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has expressed eagerness to visit the quake affected areas of Qinghai province. His Holiness said he would like to pray with the affected families for those who have lost their lives in the earthquake and offer solace to them.

“Because of the physical distance between us, at present I am unable to comfort those directly affected, but I would like them to know I am praying for them,” a press release issued by the Tibetan leader’s office said.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama pose with cricketers from Deccan Chargers team. The Tibetan leader met members of IPL teams, Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers, today before addressing a press conference where he expressed his desire to visit the earthquake hit area of Qinghai. 17/4/10 Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
His Holiness the Dalai Lama pose with cricketers from Deccan Chargers team. The Tibetan leader met members of IPL teams, Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers, today before addressing a press conference where he expressed his desire to visit the earthquake hit area of Qinghai. 17/4/10 Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
Speaking to the media after meeting the Indian Premiere League contingents here at the Tsuglakhang today, the Tibetan leader said he feels a connection as “the location of the earthquake, Kyegudo, (Chinese: Yushu), lies in Qinghai Province, which happens to be where both the late Panchen Lama and I were born.”

Asked if his eagerness was a response to the letter that the Tibetans in Yushu have reportedly written to Chinese president Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to invite him, the Tibetan leader said he was not aware of such a letter but he heard that people in the earthquake affected areas are talking about the possibility that he might come.

The Tibetan leader appreciated the Chinese authorities for visiting the affected areas, “especially Premier Wen Jiabao who has not only personally offered comfort to the affected communities but also overseen the relief work. “
“I am very appreciative too that the media have been free to report on the tragedy and its aftermath.”

He also said he wished to visit Sichuan in 2008 when it was hit by an earthquake that left more than 90,000 people dead but that he was unable to do so.

The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi refused to accept a donation offered by the Tibetan leader in 2008 for the Sichuan earthquake relief. The money was then routed through the Red Cross.

“However, when Taiwan was struck by a typhoon last year, I was able to visit the affected families and pray with them for those who had perished in that disaster. In providing some solace to the people concerned, I was happy to be able to do something useful,” said the Tibetan leader who added that the Tibetan community in exile would offer whatever support and assistance it can towards the relief work. “We hope to be able to do this through the proper and appropriate channels as soon as possible.”