This is a letter to friends from Tibetan Doctor Nashalla Nyinda regarding the April 14th earthquake in Tibet. It is important news, so I’m re-posting the letter, as well as information on how you can help:
Have you heard about the 6.9 earthquake that hit last week April 14th in Tibet? This is devastating news for me personally as a Tibetan Doctor and wife to a Tibetan person. The news hasn’t been as widely covered due to some downplay by the government. The first on the scene were monks–they were the first ones to pitch tents, transport and pray for the victims, and pull them out of the rubble.
Now we are getting word the government is ordering all monks to leave the area, likely because they don’t appreciate a mass of Tibetan monks together in one location as there are rules regarding such in Tibet and getting praise internationally as the main help doesn’t look so good, but in any case there is much work to be done.
My own teacher’s Monastery, Thrangu Rinpoche’s center was the hardest hit, and is in absolute dust. It was only 1 mile from the epicenter, and though it had been re-built twice since the Chinese invasion it is now in ruins and many monks were killed, some in 3-year retreat. There was a smaller earthquake in the morning and they ran out, then they thought it was over, so all of them were in the main prayer hall when it hit. Very few made it out alive. It is personally very devastating to me. I have a friend who lives near to the area (we studied Language together in India) and she made it out fine, thank god. She sent me word two days ago from her personal experience. (Below in quotes.)
“The official death toll is over 2,000, but my friend tells me they did a mass burial/cremation for around 3,000 two days ago. There are about 119 victims in hospitals here in Lanzhou and about 650 in hospitals around Qinghai–also people were sent to Chengdu. A friend took me to one where she is volunteering yesterday, so no restrictions as far as I can tell. I’ll go back today and bring a few Tibetan-language magazines and books for the patients and their families to read. Last week when I was in Xining (it) was a little bit crazy because they hadn’t opened the road up yet and the phones were still down and the death count jumped from 70 to 400 in a few hours, so basically nobody had any idea what was going on, who was hurt or dead, etc. and we all feared for the worst.
I should have a clearer idea of the situation when I get to Xining again tomorrow. Thankfully, my friends, including the guy you met in Xining, are all ok, as are their families. But two students of mine lost relatives. Right now it’s snowing in Yulshul, I think, so I guess the big fund raising emphasis is on buying blankets right now. I’ll have more concrete information about how urgent people’s needs are after I get to Xining.”
According to news sources, 2,041 people have been confirmed dead, 715 are missing, and over 12,000 are injured as a result of the April 14th earthquake that rocked Yushu Tibetan Prefecture. This information comes today is from another Tibet who has a non-profit organization who is there on the ground working to provide relief now.
Thousands of Tibetans who have been devastated by the massive quake. If you have it in your hearts to spread the word about how to donate to various Tibetan NGO organizations collecting funds and saving lives, I implore you–this is the work of the medicine Buddha, too. As a doctor of Tibetan medicine, this breaks my heart in more ways than I can express. It is freezing cold, no houses, blankets etc. and many are critically injured and need care to survive, right now foreigners need special permission to travel, so the work needs to come from already established organizations. My personal friend Lama Kenpo Jigme will fly there today with some funds we’ve collected already to buy supplies and provide for the immediate needs of the people and his devastated monastery.
Please encourage people to not only support this but get the word out. I have been surprised how many people have not even heard about it. Thank you!
--Nashalla Gwyn Nyinda
Tibetan Medicine TMD (Menpa~Amchi), LMT & Acupressure Practitioner
Below are listed various organizations and web pages that will help provide relief and assistance to earthquake victims. All have no middle men, and all 100% of the funds go directly to those who need it.
Thrangu Trust (Tibet Relief Fund): http://www.thranguemergency.org/
(Nashalla Nyinda’s teacher’s monastery, which has been hit)
Tibetan Village Project: http://www.tibetanvillageproject.org/yer.html
(Nashalla’s friend Tamdin, who is in Tibet helping)
Tibet Fund: http://www.tibetfund.org/