We are very sad to report that hundreds have died and an estimated 10,000 mostly ethnic Tibetans were injured and left homeless in near-freezing temperatures in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck a sparsely populated region of Tibet in the early hours of April 14. More than 85 percent of the houses in Jiegu, a town of 100,000 people nearest the epicenter, were destroyed.
Because solid information is still emerging from officials working in the area, it is difficult to know how many remain buried in the rubble. Most of the people in the region are Tibetan herders and farmers who are in immediate need of shelter, medicine, clothing and other necessities.
As we offer our prayers for the victims and survivors, The Tibet Fund has established an Emergency Earthquake Relief Fund and is working to ensure that resources reach those most affected by the quake and through channels that will provide meaningful assistance, both in the near term and as people begin to rebuild their community.
Photo from phayul.com
UPDATE: A statement from the Dalai Lama.
A statement from the Karmapa.
Elephant Journal’s excellent coverage.
A very compelling story in The New York Times.
Ger Lai Tan Zeng, a 20-year-old Buddhist monk, was the recorder of the dead, his graceful Tibetan script filling an old datebook. By Friday morning, he estimated there were 900 bodies spread across the brightly painted pavilion that normally functions as a seating area for the monks at his monastery. By contrast, the official government death toll was 791 as of Friday.
Sign up for Tricycle’s newsletters