You are here: Home» Top News

Repair of Quake-damaged Monasteries a Priority

Adjust font size:

The Chinese government is prepared to repair all the 87 monasteries damaged in the April 14 earthquake that shook a Tibetan area in northwestern Qinghai Province, a local official in charge of religious affairs said Saturday.

"Such repairs will be one of the priorities in our quake relief and rebuilding efforts this year," said Leshi, chief of the ethnic and religious affairs committee in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu.

"By the end of this year, we hope to restore the living quarters of the monasteries for more than 8,000 monks now living in makeshift tents."

Yushu, where more than 90 percent of the population are Tibetans, has 238 monasteries with more than 23,000 monks.

"The residents rely on Tibetan Buddhism for spiritual support and for many, the monastery is often viewed as more important than their own homes," said Leshi.

The 7.1-magnitude quake of April 14 seriously destroyed some of the best known monasteries including Trangu, Gyegu and Renyak.

Eighty-four monks were killed by the quake and the total death toll stood at 2,192 on Friday.

Of the 12,000-odd people injured, at least 100 are monks, said Leshi.

According to the government's rebuilding plan, repair work on the monks' residences will be completed before the end of this year.

Within two to three years, the monasteries will be totally fixed as well as upgraded to include running water, electricity and Internet, previously unavailable at some lamaseries before the quake.

(Xinhua News Agency April 24, 2010)


Related News & Photos