Last night there was a massive earthquake (7.1Mw) in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province, China, with ensuing aftershocks of over 5Mw in magnitude.
Qinghai is one of China’s poorest areas. Yushu is made up mainly of Tibetans who do pastoral and agricultural work, and the infrastructure there is not set up to withstand this kind of disaster. Official reports so far are saying at least 400 dead, 10,000 wounded; unofficial reports suggest the numbers are likely higher. Several historic monasteries have been damaged or destroyed, and upwards of 80% or 90% of homes are destroyed.
Please keep those affected by this disaster in your thoughts and prayers. The international relief effort is kind of shaky due to the difficulty of getting money to foreign NGOs on the ground, but if you are interested in donating, please email me – I know of some scholars currently doing fieldwork near Yushu who are taking donations to help get them where they’re most needed.
Edited to add: Just found out about a few NGOs in the area who are able to take donations and put them on the ground where they’re needed. Snowland Services Group (SSG) is the best known Tibetan NGO in the earthquake area and is likely to lead many local NGO efforts there. You can donate to them through the Tibetan Village Project (please mark all donations as being for the Qinghai Earthquake Appeal). Plateau Perspectives is also helping out with the relief efforts; you can see their page on Yushu Relief and donate here.