The situation on the ground in Yushu, Qinghai is, well, fluid. The plan yesterday was for the second part of our team to fly out this afternoon (Wednesday). However, yesterday we were notified that the security has been tightened up and the authorities are allowing fewer and fewer people through to the site. Although we are working through a respected local Qinghai NGO with a solid relationship and invitation by the provincial government to do medical relief work at the site, we have been told to hold off for now and not fly out for the moment. The situation could change later, but for the moment, I won’t be going today and remain on standby. The colleagues who went out on Monday have not been allowed to go to Yushu (earthquake site) and are staying with some friends in the capital city.
It is not clear why the security situation has changed. I do know that the disaster response in China gets better, and this one wasn’t quite as devastating as the earthquake in Sichuan 2 years ago. This earthquake also struck in a politically/religiously sensitive area, so this may have something to do with it. We can only guess, and stay at the ready!