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500 Tibetan Interpreters Mobilized for Quake Relief

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About 500 Tibetan interpreters nationwide have been mobilized to join rescue operations in Yushu of northwestern Qinghai Province which was hit by a devastating earthquake on Wednesday.

They were selected from six colleges of ethnic minorities nationwide, said a statement by the State Ethnic Affairs Commission Friday.

"They are in good health and speak fluent Tibetan. Some of them are from Qinghai," said the statement.

Civilian and military rescue teams are rushing to Yushu, mainly inhabited by Tibetans, from across the country, but many of them can not speak Tibetan language.

"Language is a problem. It hampers the rescue work," said Wei Jianmin, a member of China's International Search and Rescue Team that arrived in the quake-hit zone Wednesday evening.

"The interpreters will stand by and act according to the needs," the statement said.

The commission has allocated 1 million yuan (US$146,000) for quake relief.

(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2010)

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