Over a thousand dead in Tibetan earthquake

Earthquake in Tibet

On Wednesday 14 April an earthquake hit Yushu County in Tibet at 7.49am local time and was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks. Despite media reports of a "China Earthquake" the earthquake occurred in the heart of Tibet, in an area where over 90% of the population are Tibetan. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people affected by this earthquake, and with families and friends living in exile who will be frantically waiting for news. The official death toll as of today is 1,144, including many children, but locals believe the number is much higher. Over 10,000 people are injured and more than 85% of buildings collapsed following the series of quakes. In sub-zero temperatures survivors are desperately requesting medical aid, food and shelter. The epicentre of the quake hit the remote Tibetan county of Yushu, an area in the eastern Tibetan area of Kham predominantly populated by farmers and nomads. The Chinese government considers Yushu a Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Yushu is close to the source of three rivers on the Tibetan plateau. Many local people have fled to the mountains because a nearby dam at the headwaters of the three rivers has been damaged. Tibetan monks and people desperate to find loved ones have been searching in the rubble with their bare hands. Tibetans from surrounding areas have donated money to help survivors, sometimes as much as a whole month's salary. As the humanitarian response moves from saving life to longer term development the needs of the Tibetan people must be prioritised. Read updates on the earthquake from Free Tibet.

Panchen Lama's birthday

Free Tibet event: Sunday 25 April, St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, London Please join Free Tibet at a candlelit vigil to mark the 21st birthday of the Panchen Lama who has been missing for 15 years. The candles at the vigil will spell out 'Free the Panchen Lama' with candles sponsored specifically by hundreds of Free Tibet supporters. At the age of six Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama, was the world's youngest political prisoner. For more information on the vigil and the Panchen Lama click here To sponsor a candle click here
Monks from all over the region are helping to find survivors
The missing Panchen Lama is turning 21 on 25 April. Join Free Tibet at a vigil in London to mark his birthday.
Free Tibet stands for the right of Tibetans to decide their own future. It campaigns for an end to the Chinese occupation of Tibet and for the fundamental human rights of Tibetans to be respected. It is independent of all governments and is funded by its members and supporters.
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