Changing Planet

Earthquake devastates Jyekundo (Yushu)

By Losang and Tashi Rabgey

You have likely heard about the devastating earthquake in the Tibetan area of Jyekundo. The quake measured approximately 07.49 (23.49 GMT).

Due to limited capacity on the ground, it is difficult to assess the devastation at the moment. Early reports indicate that hundreds have perished, while a local observer estimates that the number is likely above 3,000. An estimated 80 percent of the buildings have collapsed. The water dam has been damaged and there are fears of the city being flooded.

We at Machik are deeply saddened by the tragic human loss and send our prayers for those who struggle for survival now.

Jyekundo is a Tibetan county approximately 800 kilometers [50 miles] southwest of the city of Xining. It is on the border of the Kham and Amdo regions. The vast majority of the local people are Tibetan herders without access to emergency relief resources.

The people of Jyekundo urgently need your immediate help for medicines, clothing, food and clean water, and in the longer term for rebuilding their community.

Machik is networked with Tibetans who have years of experience serving local community needs in the Jyekundo and surrounding areas.

Machik is creating a safe mechanism for delivering funds directly to those who are best able to reach those most in need.

We assure you that all funds donated through “Machik Earthquake Relief” will go directly to assisting the people of Jyekundo and the devastated communities.

Please send your cheque to “Machik Earthquake Relief” to the Machik office address below or donate online at today. (Please make certain to make a note in the donation form that indicates “Machik Earthquake Relief”)

Also, please forward this message on to your friends and family.

Thank you for your response at this urgent time.


Losang and Tashi Rabgey

Co-founders of Machik

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (

Social Media