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All safe on site

This morning (Wednesday) was quiet, but raining, and must have been so miserable for the people at the centre of the quake. It’s a relief to report that everyone here at the sanctuary is still safe and sound and coping with minimum staff. No one wants to be away off site, of course, but all have been incredibly understanding as to why everything can be more safely managed when so much uncertainty is around.

The sanctuary was built from the outset to deal with floods of two metres originating from the Pi River, which runs through our land, especially during the rainy seasons from June to August. In a 58-year history, only one flood has reached that height. 

The earthquake is a different situation altogether with many dams upstream cracked and vulnerable. We are hearing regular reports that the Government is working at full capacity to deal with this as literally millions of lives are at stake in the whole of the Sichuan basin. 

Reassuringly, we were visited by British Embassy personnel today offering consular services and some helpful updates, specifically that the Zhipingpu Dam appears to be safe. This is the second similar confirmation in 12 hours and is helping to lessen the strain.

We have also heard from Rainbow’s Uncle, Mr Hong Shi Zhong - Council Member of the Sichuan Seismology Association and Research Professor of Chengdu Bureau of Earthquake Prevention and Disaster Control (and previously Vice Director-General of Chengdu City Seismological Bureau) who has also provided assurances today that the situation regarding further quakes is looking much less worrying than originally believed. People everywhere in Sichuan really need this news after coping with so much - we pray that it’s true.

Nevertheless, we have suggested that staff off site remain away until Thursday night unless more aftershocks are felt and the British Embassy agrees this is sensible. They also advised that aftershocks could be felt for anything up to two months following the quake on the 12th.

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