April 15th, 2010 by TAW Reporter
- HIS HOLINESS OFFERS HIS CONDOLENCES to the victims of the earthquake
- *IMAGES - (viewer discretion) blog 1 - Blog 2 - Kyegu Monastery - 4/17/10
- Media reports must acknowledge Tibetans affected by Chinese earthquake (TibetSociety)
- To Die With Dignity in Your Own Land: Tibet, China, and the Politics of Disaster (Josh Scheri)
- Yushu Earthquake Relief best updates about the earthquake 4/15/10
- Dalai Lama Seeks China Quake Zone Visit - CNN 4/17/10
- “After Earth Quake, Tibetans Distrust China’s Help“- NYTimes 4/17/10
- Videos: “Yushu: Earthquake Has Caused Estimated Over 10,000 Killed” - 4/17/10
- Urgent ACTION- Urge U.S. Congress to support earthquake vicitm’s right to see Dalai Lama - 4/20/10
- TGIE : “4-14 Yushu Earthquake Charity Committee” - 4/20/10
Special local prayer service@Sakya Gonpa 4/17/10
BEIJING — A powerful earthquake in western China killed at least 400 people, injured 10,000 and left many others buried under debris on Wednesday, Chinese state media reported.
The quake, which struck at 7:49 a.m. in Qinghai Province, bordering Tibet, had a magnitude of 7.1, according to China’s earthquake agency.
The China Earthquake Networks Administration said the quake struck in Yushu County, a remote and mountainous area sparsely populated by farmers and herdsmen, most of them ethnic Tibetans. The region, pocked with copper, tin and coal mines, is also rich in natural gas.
As with the devastating earthquake two years ago that killed 87,000 in neighboring Sichuan Province, many buildings collapsed, including schools. But with Qinghai’s far smaller and less densely grouped population, the toll is likely to remain far lower. A seismologist, Gu Guohua, said in an interview with the national broadcaster CCTV that 90 percent of the homes in the county seat, Jeigu, had collapsed. The houses, he said, were of “quite poor quality,” with many constructed of wood, mud and brick.
Among those still missing were 20 children buried in the wreckage of a primary school, and as many as 50 people were trapped beneath a collapsed office building that houses the Departments of Commerce and Industry, according to news reports.
“We’re in the process of trying to rescue the students,” Kang Zifu, a local fire department official, told CCTV on Wednesday afternoon. “We’re hurrying to help them.”
He said at least 32 survivors had been pulled from the debris.
China National Radio, citing an official with the local Red Cross Society of China, said that 70 percent of the school buildings had collapsed in the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, an area the size of South Korea that has a population of 350,000.
Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, quoted a teacher surnamed Chang who said 5 of the 1,000 students at Yushu Primary School had died.
“Buildings in our school were all toppled,” Mr. Chang said. “Morning sessions had not begun when the quake happened. Some pupils ran out of the dorm alive, and those who had not escaped in time were buried.”
Karsum Nyima, an employee of a local television station in Yushu, told CCTV, that Tuesday’s quake had sent people running into the streets not long after daybreak.
“All of a sudden, the houses collapsed,” he said. “It was a terrible earthquake. In the park, a Buddhist pagoda fell down. Everyone is in the street in front of their houses. They are trying to find family members.”
In the same broadcast, Wu Yong, an officer in the Chinese Army, said that the road to the airport was impassable and that soldiers were digging people out from collapsed homes by hand.
“The most important thing now is that this place is far from everything, with few accessible rescue troops available,” Mr. Wu said. “I feel like the number of dead and injured will keep going up.”
Officials said that rescue efforts were stymied by a lack of heavy equipment. Medical supplies and tents, they added, were in short supply. Phone calls to local government offices went unanswered on Wednesday afternoon.
The epicenter of the quake was related to the northward thrust of the Indian Plate against the Eurasian Plate, the same root of the Sichuan quake.
Genqiu Renqin, a teacher who lives in Sichuan Province, about 60 miles from Yushu, said he felt the earth shake on Wednesday morning and immediately drove to see if relatives who live near the epicenter were safe.
“Almost all of their homes were badly damaged, but luckily no one was seriously injured,” he said, speaking by phone from a town about 25 miles from the county seat. “All the people in the area are camping out for now.”
The prefecture that includes Yushu is located on the Tibetan plateau, and many villages sit well above 16,000 feet, with freezing temperatures not uncommon in mid-April. By Wednesday evening, temperatures in the county seat had already reached 27 degrees.
The population is more than 96 percent Tibetan and overwhelmingly poor, with rural residents earning an average of $342 a year, largely from agriculture.
State news media reported that 700 paramilitary officers were already working in the quake zone and that more than 4,000 others would be sent to assist in search and rescue efforts. The civil affairs ministry said it would also send 5,000 tents and 100,000 coats and blankets.
Workers also were rushing to release water from a reservoir after cracks were discovered in a dam, according to the China Earthquake Administration.
At least 18 aftershocks measuring more than 6.0 followed the quake throughout the day, government officials said, according to Xinhua. The affected area is part of a seismically active zone. Last August, Golmud, a city to the northwest of Yushu, was hit by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that destroyed dozens of homes but caused no deaths.
This entry was posted on Thursday, April 15th, 2010 at 8:26 am and is filed under Kyegu Earthquake. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.