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Apr 14
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Featured Stories, Shambhala News Service
Major Earthquake Near Surmang Monastery
Surmang Shedra in February 2010

Surmang Shedra in February 2010

A huge earthquake struck Jyekundo yesterday, the closest city to the Surmang Dutsi Til monastery, where Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche was the supreme abbot before leaving Tibet. The initial quake of 7.1 magnitude was followed by several aftershocks of magnitude 5 or more.

Most communications with Jyekundo are now down but first reports indicate heavy damage and large numbers of people killed or injured. Reports say that possibly as many as 90% of the homes in the city have been destroyed.

The Vidyadhara’s brother, Damcho Tenphel Rinpoche, often resides in Jyekundo. It is not known if he was in Jyekundo at the time of the quake. He was not living in the city a month ago.

The Konchok Foundation, started by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Lady Diana Mukpo and others to rebuild the monastic college (shedra) at Surmang, is gathering information on the disaster. As is the Surmang Foundation, of which sangha member Lee Weingrad is the director, which provides medical
care in the region.

Khenpo Tsering Gyurme of Surmang monastery called the Konchok Foundation from the nearby city of Xining. He had been there purchasing building materials for the Surmang shedra project. He said he was heading immediately for Jyekundo to help with the rescue efforts. Many members of his own
family live in Jyekundo.

Children in the Surmang Valley, Image courtesy of Khenpo Tsering

Children in the Surmang Valley, Image courtesy of Khenpo Tsering

The U.S. Geological Survey reports place the epicenter approximately 30 miles northwest of Jyekundo (Yushu). It will probably be some days before any information is available about Surmang Dutsi Til, which is south of Jyekundo.

Khenpo Gawang, known to many in the Shambhala Mandala, has a school in the area. We are told that eight of the children in the school have been killed.

Lee Weingrad has mentioned reports of damage at the Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s monastery in the affected area. The damage to Thrangu Rinpoche’s monastery has been confirmed by Shirley Blair, Director of Thrangu Rinpoche’s schools for Himalayan children. She reports at least 10 dead and says the shedra collapsed, so there may be many more casualties.

The Sakyong, now in secluded retreat in Nepal, has been informed through his personal attendant.

Lady Diana and Dr Mitchell Levy, two of the founders of the Konchok Foundation, said today:

We are deeply concerned for the people of this entire area, which includes the Surmang monasteries of which Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche was the supreme abbot. We have been working to support Surmang and its surrounding community for many years and we would like to do whatever we can to assist those affected by the earthquake. If anyone is able to contribute to the disaster relief fund being sent up by the Konchok Foundation, which is able to channel money direct to the area through the Surmang monastery, please do so, and include the people of this desperately poor area in your prayers and practice.

The Konchok Foundation has set up a disaster relief fund so that sangha members or others who wish to offer support can do so. Donations can be made from anywhere by credit card or from the U.S. or Canada by check. Donations will be forwarded to Khenpo Tsering of the Surmang monastery for distribution.

Please recall compassionately in your daily practice all those who have been killed, injured, or left homeless by the earthquake.

For further information:
Konchok Foundation: www.konchok.org
Surmang Foundation: www.surmang.org

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1 response to “ Major Earthquake Near Surmang Monastery ”
  1. Susan Wood
    Apr 14, 2010
    Reply

    Thank you for posting this info. The Tibetan community in Toronto has pointed out that mainstream media are rarely acknowledging how this has affected Tibetans. Reports are coming in of family members injured or killed or left homeless, and given the political situation obviously it will be very challenging for them to receive funds to rebuild. They are asking that we send funds. Offering prayers . . .


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