19. May 2008
Facing the desastrous effects of the may 11. earthquake in Sichuan I have cancelled the herb-trip this year. After this weekends news of heavy after-quakes and after discussing it again with my partners in Chengdu I have made this decision. The damaged area is even much larger again than previously estimated, practically all the roads that lead to the mountains are damaged, blocked by landslides or at risk, also the ones in the south and west of Chengdu. Due to the continuing rainfalls the repairing of the roads is more difficult and slower as well. We would be unsafe and in the way of people doing repair work. To give you an idea: the national university entry exams (gao kao) have been suspended in more than 40 xian around Chengdu including some as far as Gansu province! the streets of Chengdu are full of wounded people and refugees who are being taken care of by volunteers. Besides them, many citizens are spending the nights in the open as well, due to the risk of aftershocks.
I feel very sorry having to make this announcment.