Dharamshala: The President of Central Tibetan Administration Dr Lobsang Sangay today expressed profound sadness and condolences to the victims of a massive earthquake that hit parts of Tibet on 8 August.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the earthquake that hit Dzitsa Degu County in Ngaba. My profound condolences and prayers are with the victims and those affected by the earthquake,” Dr Sangay said.
“As the relief and rescue missions are still underway, we should also think about the causes of these natural disasters which are increasingly becoming routine on the Tibetan plateau.”
” At an average elevation of 4000 metres above sea level, and with an area of 2.5m sq km, Tibet is the world’s highest and largest plateau. In its bid to control, integrate and circumscribe the native Tibetans through massive over-development, the Chinese Govt through their flawed environmental polities have uprooted the traditional lifestyle of the people and disrupted the fragile and delicate nature of Tibet’s ecosystem.”
“The Chinese leadership must therefore rein in the factors that contribute to environmental crisis in Tibet such as rapid urbanisation, transfer of population, unchecked mining, excessive damming of Tibet’s rivers, etc.”
“Tibet has witnessed a string of natural disasters in 2016 and 2017 such as floods, avalanches, landslides, mud floods, etc, caused as a result of environmentally unsustainable economic activities.”
“Therefore, China must consider these impending threats and accordingly orient its policies toward mitigating the increasing dangers posed by rapid environmental destruction,” President Dr Sangay said.
A massive earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale hit the scenic Zhitsa-Degu County in Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (incorporated into China’s Sichuan province) in eastern Tibet late in the night of 8 August 2017.
Chinese authorities confirm at least 19 people have died and more than 200 people injured in the earthquake. However it’s not clear how many of them are Tibetans, Chinese and visiting tourists. It is feared that the number of casualties would increase dramatically as the debris and rubble is cleared.