Tibetan Monks Pitch in to Help in Sichuan Floods

They help move families to higher ground and rescue what they can of their household goods and belongings.

Tibetan monks wade through floodwaters in Ngaba's Dzoege county in an undated photo.

Tibetan monks living in southwestern China’s flood-hit Sichuan province are stepping in to provide relief and move victims to safety following days of torrential rain, sources say.

In Dzoege county in the Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, monks from the Taktsa monastery are helping those worst hit by the floods, a Tibetan living in Nepal told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Friday.

“They are helping the elderly and the children stranded in the flood waters to cross over to safety,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity and citing contacts in the region.

“And they are helping to rescue family belongings from the rising water,” RFA’s source said, adding that most stores of food in the flooded homes have already been lost.

Monks’ dwellings at Ngaba’s Tsenyi monastery have meanwhile been badly flooded by the rains, the source said.

“They are now stranded and have been left in a difficult situation,” he said.

Many of Ngaba’s Tibetan-populated counties have been swamped by continuous rainfall in the last few days, Tibetan sources say.

“In those areas, many Tibetan families’ homes have been submerged, with bridges washed away and farm fields buried under water,” one source said.

“Also, landslides have blocked the roads, causing many accidents,”  the source said.

Sichuan authorities have declared a state of emergency in the mountainous region, where thousands of travelers have been left stranded after landslides and floods blocked major highways and severe weather delayed or canceled flights on Thursday at the international airport in the provincial capital Chengdu.

Reported by Kunsang Tenzin for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Richard Finney.