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Urgent Need of Prayer and Support for the Tibetan People

This message is from Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche

April 17, 2010

Dear Sangha,

I urgently request you all to pray and help support the people of Tibet who have suffered from this devastating earthquake.

As you know, on April 14th at 7AM a big earthquake hit the central Tibetan area called Gyegu county. More than 80% of the houses have been destroyed. The population of Gyegu county is about 200,000 people. It is a very cold area at high altitude.

I called many times to Tibet and heard that many of my friends and some family members of friends have died in this disaster. So far the reported death toll has reached more than 1,000 but a lot of my friends have told me that the death toll could be from 7,000 to 20,000. You can see from some of these pictures taken at the earthquake area that these people are in desperate need of help.

I have sent nearly 300 people from Dzogchen and other monasteries to this area to help. I asked for them to bring lots of bread and blankets to help the people.

Here is what you can do to make a donation:

Visit the Circle of Compassion Donate Now page.

You can copy and paste the link below into your browser URL field:

https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=11834

Fill out all the required information on that page.

Important!

In the section called "Gift Information" you should check the box "on behalf of"

In the box you will need to enter "Tibet Earthquake Aid"

We will give you a receipt and your donations are tax deductable.

100% of your donations will go to helping the people affected by the earthquake.

If you want to know more details from the news about this earthquake are following:

According to Chinese news, at least 1,144 people died in the quake, and state media reported Friday that another 417 people remain missing.

Rescue

There were confirmed earlier reports that thousands of monks and nuns from other Tibetan regions had already arrived at the scene and were often at the front line of the rescue operation.

However, they are discovering that a lot of the non-Tibetan rescue volunteers have a reaction to the altitude of a level that varies from mild altitude sickness all the way up to emphysema.

Whether it’s for physical reasons or for linguistic purposes, we need more Tibetan volunteers.

Difficult Conditions

“This earthquake took place at a high altitude, [in a region of] intense cold and little oxygen. This is an extremely tough environment, and rescue workers will need to be able to run around and move heavy objects.”

“If volunteers have no rescue work experience and no experience at high altitudes, they might find they fall sick from the lack of oxygen, and take up valuable medical resources.”

Tibetan-speakers needed

Meanwhile, in Beijing, officials have been trying to round up Tibetan interpreters from across China to send to Yushu to help with the language barrier, according to China's official Xinhua news service.

They have pressed into service around 500 interpreters who come from six ethnic minority colleges nationwide, Xinhua quoted the State Ethnic Affairs Commission as saying Friday.

Chinese health ministry official Wang Yu saidthat most of the injured are Tibetan, making enquiring about their condition difficult during emergency operations.

Relief workers say 70-90 percent of Gyegu [in Chinese, Jiegu] township's wood-and-mud houses collapsed when earthquakes hit Yushu county early Wednesday.

Monks killed

The strongest of the quakes was measured at magnitude 6.9 by the U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado and 7.1 by China’s earthquake administration.

The official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that as of late Friday the confirmed death toll had risen to 1,144, up from 791 in the afternoon. It said 11,477 people were injured, 1,174 severely.

“Over 1,000 bodies have been brought to the central hall of Gyegu monastery,” one Gyegu resident told RFA's Tibetan service Friday. “Monks from different monasteries are gathering, sitting around the bodies and chanting and praying for the victims.”

“So far we know there were six monks killed from Gyegu monastery, and atleast 100 monks dead from Thrangu monastery. The village next to Thrangu monastery has some 20 survivors left out of a total 100 villagers.”

The resident, who asked not to be identified, complained that the area's wealthy and well-connected were receiving more aid. He also said that many Tibetan residents believe the earthquake resulted from the mining by China of a mountain they regard as sacred.

pictures from the earthquake ravaged area in Tibet


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