By Tenzin Chodon
Dharamsala, May 13 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama offered condolences to the victims of the earthquake that struck Southwest China’s Sichuan province on Monday.
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of many lives and many more who have been injured in the catastrophic earthquake that struck Sichuan province of China." The Dalai Lama stated in his message Tuesday.
"I would like to extend my deep sympathy and heartfelt condolences to those families who have been directly affected by the strong earthquake on 12 May 2008. I offer my prayers for those who have lost their lives and those injured in the quake," His Holiness added.
Spokesperson for the exiled Tibetan Government Mr. Thupten Samphel said that they were bereaved by this tragedy and admired the quick response of the Chinese authorities in deploying rescue teams at such short notice to bring out survivors from the rubble.
The death toll is almost 10,000 in Sichuan Province alone and 300 in other provinces the Chinese state media said. The agency also reported that 10,000 people remained buried in Mianzhu, 60 miles from the epicenter. Tens of thousands more are feared dead or buried in the rubble with 80 percent of buildings reportedly razed to the ground.
According to the state run Xinhua news agency rescue efforts were hampered with torrential rain all through the night preventing helicopters from landing. Landslides left the roads badly damaged and impassable.
Yesterday’s earthquake was the worst to hit the country since 1976 when 242,000 people were killed in Tangshan. Several after shocks have been felt since the quake worrying the people to sleep out in the street under tarpaulin as the rain fell throughout the night.