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  1. #1
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    300 dead in Qinghai quake

    300 dead in Qinghai quake
    Apr 14, 2010

    Mostly wooden houses collapsed

    * The China Earthquake Administration put the magnitude of the quake at 7.1, saying at least 67 people were confirmed dead. It said there was extensive damage to local structures in the area, including cracks in a dam.

    * The USGS said the quake hit at 7.49am (2349 GMT on Tuesday) and was centred 380 km south-southeast of the city of Golmud, at a depth of 46 km.

    * A series of aftershocks rattled the area shortly after the quake, with magnitudes of up to 5.8, the USGS reported.

    * Yushu county has a population of about 80,000 people, according to government figures.

    * The houses here are almost all made of wood and earthen walls, said Karsum Nyima, deputy director of the news department of Yushu TV.
    * The remote high-altitude region is prone to earthquakes. Home to ethnic Mongolians and Tibetan farmers and herdsmen, the area is dotted with coal, tin, lead and copper mines.

    * A 6.2-magnitude quake rattled Golmud in August last year, triggering landslides and the collapse of about 30 homes, but there were no reports of casualties.

    * A massive 8.0-magnitude quake in May 2008 in neighbouring Sichuan province devastated a huge area of southwestern China, leaving at least 87,000 people dead or missing. -- AFP




    In this photo taken by a mobile phone, rescuers work on a destroyed building after an earthquake hit the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, northwest China's Qinghai province. A series of strong earthquakes struck China's western Qinghai province, toppling houses, killing scores of people and burying many others in a mountainous rural area, officials and state media said.
    PHOTO: AP

    BEIJING - THE death toll from a strong earthquake in the mountainous Tibetan plateau in southwestern China has reached about 300, with more than 8,000 injured, state television reported on Wednesday, quoting a government official.

    China Central Television said the toll from Wednesday's earthquake had risen as rescue workers struggled to dig trapped people out in Qinghai province.

    The US Geological Survey said the quake measured a magnitude of 6.9.

    Rescue efforts were hindered by telecommunications problems, with phone lines down. Many houses have collapsed, roads have been damaged or blocked by landslides and telecommunications have been disrupted, local officials said after the quake.

    Officials said many others were injured by the quake, which wreaked havoc on the flimsy earth and wood houses near the epicentre in the high-altitude area of Qinghai province on the border with Tibet. 'The injured are everywhere in the street, a lot of people are bleeding from head wounds,' state Xinhua news agency quoted a local official, identified as Zhuohuaxia, as saying.

    He said more than 85 per cent of houses had collapsed in the town of Jiegu, located near the quake's epicentre. Rescue teams and equipment were being rushed to the area, Xinhua said, but noted they could be hampered by the infrastructure damage.
    AFP, AP, REUTERS

    straitstimes.com

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    China earthquake kills hundreds in Qinghai

    China earthquake kills hundreds in Qinghai

    At least 300 people have died and thousands are feared hurt after a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck China's Qinghai province, officials say.

    The powerful tremor hit remote Yushu county, 800km (500 miles) south-west of provincial capital Xining, at 0749 (2349 GMT), at a shallow depth of 10km.

    Most of the buildings in the worst-hit town of Jiegu town were wrecked, and landslides have cut off roads.

    Rescue crews were travelling to Yushu, hundreds of miles from a major airport.
    ANALYSIS


    Michael Bristow, BBC News, Beijing

    The earthquake struck just before 0800 local time - when many people were still at home. It was followed by three aftershocks.

    Some media reports say most buildings in the town near the epicentre fell down.
    Grainy pictures on Chinese television showed rescuers pulling at the rubble of one collapsed structure. Soldiers have been sent to the area to help with the rescue.

    The earthquake happened in a remote and sparsely populated area on the Tibetan plateau. The area is regularly hit by earthquakes.

    About 5,000 specialist quake rescuers have been dispatched from neighbouring provinces, with the first teams expected to reach Yushu within hours.

    A local official in the worst-hit town of Jiegu told the BBC that the loss from the quake was huge, and that almost all of the buildings in the town had been destroyed.

    "The death toll will definitely go up," he said.

    Another official told China's state news agency Xinhua that the area was in urgent need of help.

    "The streets in Jiegu are thronged with panic - injured people, with many bleeding in the head," Zhuo Huaxia told Xinhua.

    "Many students are buried under the debris due to building collapse at a vocational school.


    "I can see injured people everywhere. The biggest problem now is that we lack tents, we lack medical equipment, medicine and medical workers."

    Many of the buildings in Yushu, a county with a largely Tibetan population of about 250,000, were thought to be made from wood.

    In 2008, a huge quake struck neighbouring Sichuan province which left 87,000 people dead or missing.

    Quake-prone region

    Karsum Nyima, from Yushu county's TV station, told China's state-run CCTV that school students had been assembled in outside playgrounds, although school buildings had not collapsed.

    RECENT DEADLY QUAKES

    Feb 2010: Magnitude 8.8 quake in central Chile kills at least 450
    Jan 2010: About 230,000 die in magnitude 7.0 tremor in Haiti
    April 2009: Quake measuring 6.3 in L'Aquila, Italy, kills 300 people
    May 2008: 87,000 die in 7.8 scale tremor in Sichuan province, China
    Oct 2005: Quake measuring 7.6 hits north Pakistan, killing 73,000



    History of deadly earthquakes
    Qinghai: Quake-prone province

    "In a flash, the houses went down. It was a terrible earthquake. In a small park, there is a Buddhist tower and the top of the tower fell off," he said.

    "Everybody is out on the streets, standing in front of their houses, trying to find their family members."

    Zhuo De, an ethnic Tibetan resident of Yushu, who spoke by phone from the capital of Qinghai province, Xining, said there could be many more casualties.

    "The homes are built with thick walls and are strong, but if they collapsed they could hurt many people inside," he said.

    The remote high-altitude region is prone to earthquakes, but officials from the US Geological Survey said this was the strongest quake within 100km of the area since 1976.
    Residents of Yushu fled their homes after the quake

    The region, which is home to Tibetan farmers and herdsmen, is dotted with coal, tin, lead and copper mines.

    After the Sichuan quake, five million people were left homeless, and officials estimated rebuilding work would take at least three years.

    The government later punished people who had compiled lists of the victims and had suggested shoddy school-building was partly to blame for the high death toll.


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    From the BBC.

    At least 400 people die and thousands more are injured as a quake hits China's remote Qinghai province, officials say.

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    Chinese rescuers step up search for quake survivors
    15 April 2010

    Vid : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8621278.stm
    A girl pulled from the debris told her rescuers she was sorry for the trouble

    Emergency teams have been pouring into western China's Qinghai province, a day after a deadly earthquake devastated the mountainous region.

    Thousands of homeless people have spent the night in freezing temperatures.

    Officials say 617 people died and 9,980 were injured when the quake hit early on Wednesday - 313 remain missing.

    Rescuers continued to search with their bare hands and shovels, as emergency convoys and heavy lifting gear streamed into the disaster zone in Yushu county.

    "Freezing weather, high altitude and thin air have all made rescue efforts difficult," Hou Shike, deputy head of China International Search and Rescue, told official news agency Xinhua.

    Some of the people have broken legs or arms but all they can get now is an injection, they were crying in pain
    Ren Yu
    Eyewitness in Jiegu

    As well as the remote location, which sits at an altitude of around 13,000ft (4,000m), more logistical problems were posed by the fact the quake knocked out phone and power lines and triggered landslides.

    Several schools collapsed and at least 66 pupils and 10 teachers were among the dead, Xinhua reported. Emergency workers were seen removing dust-covered dead infants from rubble.

    State broadcaster CCTV showed anxious parents waiting overnight outside Yushu Vocational School, where 22 students, mostly girls, were reported dead.



    The scenes of flattened schools echoed the quake that hit neighboring Sichuan province two years ago, leaving nearly 90,000 people dead.

    Revelations of shoddy construction and lax building rules infuriated grieving parents in the aftermath of that disaster.

    About 900 people have been pulled out alive since the 6.9-magnitude quake struck Qinghai on Wednesday morning, at the shallow depth of 10km (six miles).

    Rescuers saved one girl who was trapped for more than 12 hours under debris.

    RECENT DEADLY QUAKES

    Feb 2010: Magnitude 8.8 quake in central Chile kills at least 450

    Jan 2010: About 230,000 die in magnitude 7.0 tremor in Haiti

    April 2009: Quake measuring 6.3 in L'Aquila, Italy, kills 300 people

    May 2008: 87,000 die in 7.8 scale tremor in Sichuan province, China

    Oct 2005: Quake measuring 7.6 hits north Pakistan, killing 73,000

    As she was placed on a stretcher, she could be heard saying: "I'm sorry for the trouble. Thank you, I will never forget this."

    Wu Yong, a local army commander, said the death toll could rise "as lots of houses collapsed".

    Chinese President Hu Jintao called for an all-out emergency effort and some 5,000 rescuers, including 700 soldiers, have been sent to the area.

    The civil affairs ministry said it would also send 5,000 tents, as local officials in Yushu reported a lack of shelter, medicines and medical equipment.

    In the township of Jiegu, 85% of buildings were destroyed, officials say.

    A hotel manager in Jiegu, Ren Yu, said it was like being in a war zone.

    "Some of the people have broken legs or arms but all they can get now is an injection," he said. "They were crying in pain."

    Forecasters predicted wind and sleet in the coming days, putting homeless victims of the tremor at risk of exposure.

    The region is prone to earthquakes but, according to the US Geological Survey, this was the strongest tremor within 100km of the area since 1976.

    news.bbc.co.uk

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    China earthquake toll rises to 1,144
    Friday, 16 Apr, 2010


    A Tibetan Buddhist monk leads the way as a man carries a young girl after she was lifted from the rubble of an earthquake as she is rescued after being buried for more than two-days in Yushu.
    AP

    JIEGU: Tibetan monks prayed Friday over hundreds of bodies at a makeshift morgue next to their monastery after powerful earthquakes destroyed the remote mountain town of Jiegu in western China and left at least 1,144 people dead.

    State media on Friday reported that another 417 people remain missing —as rescuers neared the end of the 72-hour period viewed as best for finding people alive. They continued to dig for survivors in the rubble, often by hand.

    The official toll was likely to climb further. Gerlai Tenzing, a red-robed monk from the Jiegu Monastery, estimated that about 1,000 bodies had been brought to a hillside clearing in the shadow of the monastery.

    He said a precise count was difficult because bodies continued to trickle in and some had already been taken away by family members.

    Hundreds of the bodies were being prepared for a mass cremation Saturday morning.

    Genqiu, a 22-year-old monk, said it was impossible to perform traditional sky burials for all. Tibetan sky burials involve chopping a body into pieces and leaving it on a platform to be devoured by vultures.

    ''The vultures can't eat them all,'' said Genqiu, who like many Tibetans goes by one name.

    Relief workers have estimated that 70 per cent to 90 per cent of the town's wood-and-mud houses collapsed when the earthquakes hit Yushu county, in the western province of Qinghai, Wednesday morning.

    The strongest of the quakes was measured at magnitude 6.9 by the US Geological Survey and 7.1 by China's earthquake administration.

    Xinhua reported that as of Friday evening 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.

    Rescue spokesman Xia Xueping was cited as saying they now had more heavy equipment available —speeding up the process of recovering the dead.

    Many survivors shivered through a third night outdoors as they waited for tents to arrive.

    China Central Television reported that about 40,000 tents would be in place by Saturday, enough to accommodate all survivors.

    Also on the way was more equipment to help probe for signs of life under the debris, it said. The tools include small cameras and microphones attached to poles that can be snaked into crevices as well as heat and motion sensors.

    President Hu Jintao, in Brazil after visiting Washington, canceled scheduled stops in Venezuela and Peru to come home.

    dawn.com

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    Very sad
    Qinghai was TIBETAN until the chinese communists meddled

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    2010-04-19

    YUSHU, Qinghai, April 19 (Xinhua) -- The death toll has climbed to 1,944 from a devastating earthquake in northwest China's Qinghai Province, with 216 people still missing, the rescue headquarters said Monday.

    As of 8 a.m. Monday, the 7.1-magnitude quake, which struck the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu at 7:49 a.m. Wednesday, has also left 12,315 injured, of which 1,134 are in serious condition, the rescue headquarters said.

    news.xinhuanet.com

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    Questions Over Quake Toll in Tibet
    Willy Lam
    Tuesday, 20 April 2010


    The dead in the Qinghai earthquake appear to be far more than authorities admit to

    Even as search-and-rescue operations over the Qinghai earthquake enter their second week, question marks have been raised over the death toll – and Beijing's overall handling of the worst natural disaster to have hit China since the devastating Sichuan earthquake two years ago.

    Tibetan lamas who are responsible for the burial of quake victims told reporters from several Hong Kong papers and TV stations that at least 8,000 Qinghai residents had perished. As of Monday night, however, the official death toll stood at 1,944 dead and 216 missing.

    Since Yushu, the county worst hit by the tremors, is a predominantly Tibetan area, lamas from Qinghai and neighboring Tibet have been active in rescue work and particularly burial ceremonies. Senior Tibetan lama Angwen Danba Renqing told Hong Kong journalists that his monastery alone had by last Sunday cremated 3,400 corpses.

    The lama said he knew of several hundred bodies being stowed in other monasteries. Angwen Danba Renqing reckoned the death toll for Yushu alone was "in the region of 8,000 to 9,000." Hong Kong's mass circulation Ming Pao also quoted an official from the People's Procuratorate as saying total casualties in Yushu could reach upwards of 10,000.

    The real scale of the tragedy – and the fact that it has taken place close to the opening of the Shanghai World Expo on May 1 – probably explains why two members of the Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC), Hu Jintao and Li Changchun, cut short their overseas visits to return to China.

    Political sources in Beijing said the leadership's main concern is that the natural disaster not exacerbate ethnic tension in Tibet and Xinjiang. Discussion at the Politburo meeting convened on April 17 – four days after the quake – centered on confining the political fallout to Yushu and its immediate vicinity.

    A brief report by the official Xinhua News Agency noted that the PBSC urged cadres from relevant departments "to boost efforts in defusing social contradictions, to strengthen work relating to law and order, to ensure social stability in the disaster zones, and to promote unity among the nationalities as well as stability among the people."

    Perhaps with a view to curbing "social contradictions," the Party's Propaganda Department issued clear-cut instructions to major media on how to cover the disaster. The day after the quake, Chinese newspapers and websites were told to focus on "positive" developments, particularly how soldiers, cops, People's Armed Police, fire-fighters and other personnel Beijing has deployed to Qinghai have done a heroic job amidst low-oxygen and sub-zero conditions in the highlands.

    Chinese media, however, are told to play down the helpful role played by lamas. In particular, no reference should be made to the dubious qualities of classroom and official buildings in Yushu. PBSC member Li, who is China's propaganda czar, was quoted by Xinhua as calling on the media to "assiduously sing the praises of advanced units and model individuals" who distinguished themselves in the rescue and reconstruction campaign.

    "We must heap praise on the glories of the Communist Party, socialism, the reform enterprise, and the People's Liberation Army," Li said soon after returning to China from a European tour.

    Despite the efforts taken by authorities to take good care of Tibetan survivors, many Yushu residents have complained about the haste with which authorities have disposed of the bodies through mass cremation. "Sky burial," an arcane ritual in which the corpse is dissected on hill-tops and then "cleaned" by birds of prey, has long been the preferred burial practice. Individual lamas have also asked Hong Kong and foreign reporters to relay their wish that Chinese authorities should speed up the repair and reconstruction of monasteries.

    In the aftermath of the Sichuan Earthquake, in which some 70,000 perished, both Sichuan and central-level officials were criticized for covering up dozens of so-called tofu school buildings. These shoddily built classroom structures collapsed like jigsaw puzzles even as more sturdy buildings nearby sustained only superficial damage.

    To this day, Beijing has refused to disclose either the number of students who died during the tremors or their names and other personal details. A number of NGO activists who helped aggrieved parents in Sichuan seek damages from the authorities, including globally known artist Ai Weiwei, have been detained or harassed by the authorities. Immediately after the Sichuan quake, Beijing pledged to check the structures of all school buildings nationwide and to do required reparations. The Chinese media, however, have reported that not a single school in Yushu County has been repaired or reinforced after the Sichuan disaster.

    asiasentinel.com

    highlighting mine

    .

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    Tibetans monks told to leave
    Apr 23, 2010


    Tibetan monks talk before attending a mass prayer for earthquake victims in the quake-hit Gyegu town of Yushu county, Qinghai province.
    PHOTO: REUTERS

    BEIJING - CHINA said on Friday it had urged monks who travelled to its earthquake disaster zone to aid rescue efforts to return to their monasteries to avoid getting in the way of official relief operations.

    'The duties of rescue workers in the quake zone are basically over, and the focus has moved to disease prevention and reconstruction, which need specialised people,' the government said a statement.

    'While fully recognising the positive contributions of the monks that came from other areas, we suggested to them that they return to their monasteries to ensure the high effectiveness and order of quake relief work,' it said in a statement issued by the State Council, or cabinet.

    Activists had said that monks who had travelled to the remote Yushu region of north-western province of Qinghai to help with rescue and relief efforts after the killer 6.9-magnitude quake had been told to leave.

    Tibetan Buddhist monks played a key role in the response to last week's quake high up on the Tibetan plateau that killed at least 2,187 people, including over 200 schoolchildren, and left another 80 missing. These efforts have been largely passed over in state media reports, which have focused on the government response, but the State Council said it recognised the contributions made by monks.

    The region's lamas and monks remain a point of concern for Beijing following bloody anti-Chinese unrest across the region in 2008 that stemmed from initial peaceful protests by monks in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.

    straitstimes.com

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    After earthquake comes, Chinese machinery to obliterate Tibetan roots
    Friday, January 28, 2011

    China reports that shattered Tibetan town will be rebuilt in more urban style and given a "temporary" Chinese name.


    China is using the devastating earthquake of April 2010 to rebuild badly affected Tibetan areas, but with a Chinese name and a culture-imposing agenda, according to reports from the region.


    An undated photo sent by a local resident shows that most of the buildings in Gyegu town were reduced to rubble following the earthquake.
    (Photo: RFA/file/Local resident)

    The reports are in direct contrast to an earlier message of hope U.S. President Barack Obama presented during his joint press conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Jan. 19 at the White House.

    Obama told journalists in his opening remarks that the United States supports "further dialogue between the government of China and the representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolve concerns and differences, including the preservation of the religious and cultural identity of the Tibetan people."

    Commenting on his discussion with Hu on the human rights situation in China, President Obama stated, "I reaffirmed America's fundamental commitment to the universal rights of all people. That includes basic human rights like freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association and demonstration, and of religion -- rights that are recognized in the Chinese constitution.”

    “As I've said before, the United States speaks up for these freedoms and the dignity of every human being, not only because it is part of who we are as Americans, but we do so because we believe that by upholding these universal rights, all nations, including China, will ultimately be more prosperous and successful." Obama continued.

    One of the latest cases mentioned in recent reports from the region is the Tibetan town of Kyegu in the rural county of Yushu.

    The International Campaign for Tibet, a global organization founded in 1988 to promote human rights and democratic freedoms for the people of Tibet, cited a Xinhua repot quoting Qinghai provincial governor Luo Huining as saying, “In light of the post-quake rebuilding work and Qinghai’s urbanization drive, we will build Yushu County into a city with a new temporary name of Sanjiangyuan [The Three River Sources].”

    Commenting on the controversial move, Mary Beth Markey, president of ICT, said: “Although the authorities recognize Yushu as a ‘Tibetan autonomous’ area, they are excluding Tibetan involvement in this reconstruction of a new city that is now being given a Chinese name.”

    “This contravenes their own ‘ethnic autonomy’ laws and creates further distress among those already devastated by loss and dispossession,” Markey noted, cautioning, “There is also a danger that historic Tibetan buildings that survived the quake may now be razed in the reconstruction.”


    The ICT recalled a resolution passed by the U.S. Congress on May 20, 2010, expressing condolences to those affected by the earthquake and highlighting the integral role Tibetans should have in the reconstruction.

    The report cited Rep. Mike McMahon (D-NY), the sponsor of the resolution, describing Yushu as “a cradle of Tibetan culture and religion for centuries,” and encouraged the Chinese government to “include the local Tibetan population in reconstruction plans.” 


    Related Story:
    - Tibetans in quake-hit Kyegudo protest Chinese government over land
    - Tibetan exiles form Yushu earthquake relief committee

    phayul.com

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    always sad to see another disaster

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    Unfortunately plenty more where they came from.

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    Tibetan Land Seized For Chinese migrants
    Reported by Kunsang Tenzin for RFA's Tibetan service.
    Translated by Karma Dorjee.
    Written in English by Parameswaran Ponnudurai.
    2012-05-01

    Chinese authorities forcibly take over land from five Tibetan nomadic villages in a remote province in north-western China.


    File photo of Tibetan nomads from Qinghai province.
    AFP

    Chinese authorities have forcibly grabbed land from five Tibetan nomadic villages in Qinghai province expected to be given to tens of thousands of new Chinese migrants, according to Tibetan residents.

    The new wave of migration would also result in the growth of a Chinese town fueled by construction of two hydro electricity projects, they said.

    “On April 25, Chinese government officials convened a meeting of five nomadic villages in Gepasumbo (Tongde) county in Tsolho (Hainan) prefecture in Qinghai," according to a Tibetan in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

    "As a result of the meeting, the Tibetan residents of Setong, Dragmar, Seru, Machu and Goekar villages were forced to give up 60 per cent of their land and get rid of 54 percent of their animals within this year," the Tibetan said.

    The officials said animals will not be allowed to loiter on the land taken over by the government.

    The villagers were advised to reduce the number of animals by selling them to slaughter houses.

    “During the meeting, the Tibetans from the five different villages unanimously refused to accept the Chinese proposal to take over their land," a Tibetan from Gepasumbo county said.

    'Forced surrender'

    The government officials returned to the county center later and "forced" the Tibetan residents of the Setong, Dragmar and Seru villages to surrender all their land,” the Tibetan said.

    “The Tibetan land taken by the Chinese authorities...is meant [to cater to] over 30,000 Chinese migrants. This, according to the local sources, could lead to the growth of a new Chinese town,” a Tibetan from the area said.

    The authorities are also constructing two more hydro electric projects in the area which are expected to attract 100,000 Chinese migrants, the Tibetan from TAR said.

    China’s policy to relocate hundreds of thousands of Tibetan nomads from their ancestral grasslands into colonies of permanent urban dwellings is gathering pace and is being implemented especially vigorously in certain areas of Tibet, according to a report on the website of London-based Free Tibet, an advocacy group.

    "The policy is having a disastrous impact on Tibetan herders’ ability to maintain their traditional livelihoods and on a distinctive form of Tibetan cultural identity," it said.

    rfa.org

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