Hail, torrential rain leave at least 31 dead in Tibetan-populated areas of China

The wild weather also kills thousands of heads of livestock and damages property.
By Sangyal Kunchok for RFA Tibetan
2022.08.23
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Tibetans collect the carcasses of livestock killed during flooding from hailstorms and torrential rain in Mangra country, Tsolho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, western China's Qinghai province, Aug. 21, 2022.
RFA

Hail and heavy rain caused the deaths of at least 31 people in Tibetan-populated counties in northwestern China's Qinghai and Gansu provinces, Tibetan sources said. More than 2,000 heads of livestock were also killed in the storms.

In Mangra (in Chinese, Guinan) county of Tsolho (Hainan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in China's Qinghai province, where five people and the livestock perished, hail and rain on Saturday caused significant damage, including the destruction of tents used by nomads, a Tibetan from the region and one who lives in exile told RFA. 

“The flooding actually came from the nomadic region of Panchen and Panchung [in Mangra county],” said the Tibetan inside the region. 

“What we know of right now is that five people have died out of which three belong to the same family,” said the source who declined to be identified so as to speak freely. “The number of livestock killed by the heavy hailstorm and flood keeps rising which has an overwhelming impact on the livelihoods of Tibetan nomads whose life depends on them.” 

The death toll from the storms and rain in Qinghai's Serkhog (Datong Hui and Tu) autonomous county hit 26 as of Monday, Chinese media reported.

Landslides from heavy flooding in more than seven villages in Sangchu (Xiahe) county in Gansu province’s Kanlho (Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture have blocked roads and damaged property, the reports said. 

Floods and landslides in Sangchu county began on the evening of Aug. 21, flooding homes over the past two days, the Tibetan sources said. 

“The monks’ residences at the Labrang Monastery and many other residences of the local Tibetans in the region have witnessed huge damage and property loss due to the flood,” said another Tibetan from inside the region who did not want to be identified. “Also, cars and roads are filled with water. 

“But as soon as the hailstorm stopped, the monks from Labrang Monastery went all out to help,” he said. 

The heavy hail broke car windows and ripped tents from their foundations in Rebkong county, Malho (Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province, the source said

“The floods caused by the hailstorm have left lots of destruction, but no specific details have been reported by the Chinese official media other than the occurrence of floods,” he added. 

Tibetans in affected areas are posting photos and videos of the devastation on social media showing monks and locals helping those affected, the Tibetan said. 

Translated by Tenzin Dickyi for RFA Tibetan. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

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