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Relief Update + Pictures

Relief Updates as of 1:18am local time on 4/21

Our supply truck arrived mid-morning today with fresh food and medicines. The tents were soon set up, the generators were humming, and water was being filtered and treated for drinking. Medical personnel continued to see patients throughout the day despite a short storm of hail, snow, and rain. Beyond the routine trips, one medical transport driver reported being able to take two little girls to the airport for evacuation to the city where their parents are hospitalized.

Some doctors from team 2 needed to depart for Xining this morning to catch return flights home. They traveled over icy roads through driving snow for much of the 500 mile journey, but arrived safely in Xining before 9 PM local time. Additional medical personnel are now in Xining and are expected to travel to Yushu over the next few days.

Pictures after the jump…

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Relief Updates as of 12:38am local time on 4/20

Team 3 arrived in the Yushu area at approximately 10:30 PM on Sunday. They spent the night on the outskirts of town about a mile from our medical camp, then rendezvoused with the larger team early this morning. In addition to the supplies that they brought, another truck carrying medicines for our group also delivered six boxes this morning. There are many children coming through the camp with their parents, and often several just milling about, so some toys and distractions for the kids were also among the packages sent.

While the medical team in Yushu continued to see patients throughout the day, our team in Xining was purchasing 7 to 10 days worth of medications, medical supplies, food, and water for the camp. These were loaded onto a truck along with two high-capacity water purification systems, two generators, and three large medical tents. Team 4 (consisting of two water experts, two drivers, and one cook for the camp) departed with the supplies in the late afternoon and should arrive in Yushu tomorrow mid-day.

Relief Update

Relief Updates as of 10:20pm local time on 4/18

We were able to get our third team on the road to Yushu this morning at 7:15am.  Among the team were two doctors, three nurses, two logistics personnel, and two Yushu-born translators.  The team should be arriving this evening around 10pm local time.

Reports from teams already in Yushu indicate that the death toll will certainly continue to rise.  Today overall our medical teams treated less acute wounds while seeing an increase in more general illnesses.  The team was able to treat close to 140 patients with varying symptoms including stomach illness, dehydration, and high blood pressure.  A few patients were delivered to the airport for medical evacuation.

Our team members all reported stand-still traffic throughout Yushu due to increased rescue efforts and increased media coverage as well as a visit from the Chinese President, Hu Jintao.  One team member let us know that the streets were lined with semi trucks filled with relief supplies, front end loaders, as well as a few industrial cranes which all added to the significant delays- but will undoubtedly aid the overall effort.  Our team en route to Yushu saw very few cars leaving the city and heading for the provincial capital of Xining due to the significant delays in Yushu.

In Xining, our staff continued organizing logistics for teams that will be heading out around the middle of this week. We plan to send a large truck down tomorrow to deliver much needed supplies such as mass water purification solutions, tents, medicine, food, and power generators. Our next team to depart will likely consist of additional doctors and nurses from throughout China.

Plateau Perspectives and Yushu Earthquake Relief continue to find favor with the regional government, the Yushu government, and the Health Bureau in order to continue in the relief efforts.  The Health Bureau generously provided us with another medical tent which increased our ability to treat patients. We continue to be thankful for the privilege to help relief efforts in Yushu.


Relief Update as of 10:20pm, 4/17 Local Time

We were excited to get two more of our teams down to Yushu today.  Our convoy arrived around 6 am this morning and was able to immediately jump into action assessing further needs as well as turn our vehicles in to makeshift ambulances.  It was a great step in order to be able to bring the injuried to areas where they could receive help.

Teams from the field report helping over 200 injured over the course of the day.  Our teams were also able to go out and bring in those who were more seriously injured to medical checkpoints.  We have another two teams heading down tomorrow at 7am with Kham Tibetan translators from Yushu as well as more medical personnel.

In general we were able to observe the following while on the field

  • No electricity that isn’t generator driven
  • Military has been able to set up a “mobile hospital” with standard hospital equipment
  • The military and the Health Department are still excited to have us help their Peoples relief efforts
  • Serious need for water and food are still present.
  • Front end loaders are still clearing the streets
  • Survivors are still being rescued from the rubble.


Around 6:00 a.m. our convoy of two teams pulled into Yushu.  Immediately jumping into action, they assessed the current needs and transformed their vehicles into makeshift ambulances used to transport the injured into areas where they could receive aid.
Over the course of the day, these two teams were able to treat more than 200 people and transfer the more seriously injured to medical checkpoints.  Tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. we will send another two teams of medical personnel from Xining into the earthquake zone, along with much needed local Kham Tibetan translators.

In general, we were able to observe the following while on the field:

  • Aside from generators, no electricity is available.
  • The military has been able to set up a “mobile hospital” with standard hospital equipment.
  • The military and Heath Department are still eager to have our teams help their Peoples relief efforts.
  • There is a serious need for food and clean water.
  • Front end loaders are still clearing the streets of debris.
  • Survivors are still being rescued from the rubble.

Relief Update

Relief update as of 1am, 4/17 local time

click on the link above for a large panoramic view of Jiegu in January of 2010 before the quake.

As of 5:00 p.m. local time, more than 15 of our workers have arrived in Yushu. Another group of 15 was sent this evening, and they should arrive mid-morning Saturday, April 17th.  These groups consist of highly trained health professionals and skilled surgeons, along with six logistics coordinators.  Logistics coordinators are responsible for driving the doctors into the area so that they are rested and ready for action upon arrival.  They also set up and manage the base of operations, keep them running fluidly, and transport patients and medical supplies to and from our bases of operation.

News from the field today was very positive.  Teams traveling to Yushu have reported seeing massive amounts of government aid pouring into the area.  We’ve heard that our initial team was able to administer medical care to large amounts of seriously and moderately injured people, and also assist and transport the injured to the medical base of operations.  Tomorrow our team will focus on moving seriously injured and immobile patients to different medical bases.

The Health Department seems very happy to have our teams in the area and we feel privileged to work with the local government in order to provide relief to its people


Footage of Jiegu literally minutes after the earthquake

Jiegu from mr name on Vimeo.

Yushu Images

Images following the Jiegu quake

Above is a picture of Yushu (Jiegu) taken 4 months ago.  The town is actually a bit larger than is shown in the photo, but it gives you an idea of the landscape as well as the building style in the area.  The pictures below were taken literally minutes after the earthquake occurred.  It has been reported that the damage is widespread with upwards of 85% of the structures being destroyed.

As you can see, most of the buildings were reduced to absolute rubble.  For more information see our “Relief Efforts” page as well as an audio interview from an eye witness at the scene.  We, again, are thankful to be able to assist in the government effort in this area, to bring relief to these people.

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Yushu Update

Information as of 12:24am local time 4/16

We were relieved to see some of our close friends and colleagues, who were in Yushu during the earthquake, make it back to Xining today.  They were able to give us an informative but heart-wrenching first-hand account of the earthquake disaster.  In short, the government is doing an efficient job of quickly funneling relief to the earthquake areas and we are excited to be able to work with, and under their instruction. We encourage you to listen to the audio file below.

Some of the points made in the interview:

  • Approximately 1,500 fully-loaded government vehicles streaming to the earthquake zone.
  • Close to 90% of buildings in Jiegu reported as down.
  • Government effectively moved residents to traditional “horse festival” grasslands.
  • Western side of city completely leveled.
  • Eastern more industrial side of city damaged but damage less extensive.
  • No residents living in Jiegu.

Again, we are very pleased to report that the government response has been quick and effective, and we are happy to continue to work with them during this time.

Earthquake in Yushu

Deadly quake in Southern Qinghai

On April 14th 2010 several earthquakes struck the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province, the largest of which was magnitude 6.9. Initial eyewitness reports from the prefecture government seat Jiegu (Jyekundo) speak of extensive damage to houses and many wounded and dead. Official figures at time of writing are 300 dead and 8000 wounded. As more information becomes available we will be posting it

Initial requests from the prefectural government to our organization (Plateau Perspectives) include medical supplies, tents, and blankets. We will be sending an advance medical team down in a few hours to assess the situation and set up to receive additional supplies and medical personnel.

Yushu Prefecture is where all of our work for the past 10+ years has taken place, and Jaegu (Yushu Town) is home to many of our local friends. We’re very sad to have lost at least one friend and are waiting to hear news about several others. All of our fellow expats who were in the area at the time of the quake have made it out safely.

Enter the following Chinese links with latest news and pictures into to read the pages in English.

Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China Website

Qinghai Province People’s Government Website

Qinghai Earthquake Portal

USGS Latest Earthquakes in the World – Past 7 days

Magnitude 6.9 – SOUTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA 2010 – April 13 23:49:37 UTC

For Canada/UK donations that need tax deductable receipts, please visit

Yushu Earthquake Relief