By China Relief Team (Originally in Chinese)
On August 28, 2013, Deqing and Shangri-La Counties in Dêqên Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province and Dêrong County in Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province of southwest China were shaken by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. A second 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the same area only a few days later on August 31, taking three lives and causing injuries to 44 people and the displacement of over 9,000. In addition, 600 residential units collapsed and 55,000 were damaged. As of September 2, 2013, about 895 aftershocks took place in Deqing and Shangri-La Counties. The direct economic loss was RMB 1.468 billion (US$240 million).
The government began emergency relief work to provide timely aid to the affected people, sending the army to deliver supplies and repair main roads. The media also gave up-to-date coverage and encouraged people to lend a helping hand.
Saddened by the news of the earthquakes, Supreme Master Ching Hai sent a heartfelt contribution of RMB 42,517 (US$6,961) with instructions for our local Association members to please go help. With these funds and an additional RMB 32,743 (US$5,362) donated by our Association members, our relief team set out for Shangri-La County on September 6.
An earthquake of 4.5 magnitude on September 6 delayed our arrival in Shangri-La until midday on September 7. Thanks to the kind advice and assistance of the local Civil Affairs staff, our relief team purchased 10 tons of rice and three tons of noodles for those in need. The next morning, we rented two trucks and transported the food to the headquarters of the earthquake relief center in the seriously damaged town of Nixi, where we unloaded one truckload of rice and noodles.
The township working staff repeatedly expressed appreciation on behalf of several thousands of villagers. Since the residents in the villages of Tangman, Xinyang and Xingfu were scattered deep in the mountains and some places were not accessible, the headquarters staff pledged to arrange for the village committees to pick up the supplies for distribution.
We drove the second truckload of food to Jiangdong Village, which was also severely damaged. We distributed the food to seven village groups there and gave RMB 300 each to the two most disadvantaged families. The chief of Jiangdong Village thanked us on behalf of 800 villagers from 162 households for our timely help.
Although, we did not speak the same language, the Tibetans could communicate true love without words. Wherever our relief team went, people came to us with tears in their eyes, shook our hands or hugged us, feeling reluctant to leave. The villagers raised their thumbs to show their heartfelt appreciation or put their palms together to express their thanks. We were deeply touched by the purity and friendliness of the Tibetan people.
May Heaven bless all those affected by the earthquakes in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures with a safe and peaceful future.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association
for Earthquake Relief in Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures, China
|Rice and noodles||71,960||A|
|Cash for financially disadvantaged families||600||B|
|Total|| RMB 75,260
For the relief work, our Association members paid RMB 1,000 (US$164) for their own travel, meals and lodging.