The altitude of the Yushu region averages around 13,000 ft (4,000 meters), causing many aid workers unused to the inhospitible conditions of the plateau to suffer from oxygen deprivation and altitude sickness. Despite these setbacks, with more than 10,000 Chinese solders, police,
firefighters, and medical workers now on hand in Yushu county, China has started turning away offers of help from foreign aid organizations. The Tibetan plateau is an isolated, rural area, and with so many relief workers pouring into the region its scarce resources are feeling the strain.
Supplies of food, water, gas, and other necessities are dwindling, reported Pierre Deve, a program director with the Snowland Service Group. Zou Ming, the director of disaster relief with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said that tents, thick quilts, clothing and food were in demand,
but that many relief workers were finding it hard to deliver the needed objects to survivors due to transportation constraints.
Many rescue crews were focusing on excavating schoolchildren, trapped in the remnants of their fragile mud-walled schools, from the rubble. Medical aid, food, and shelter are the top priority for the 100,000 people living in the quake zone, said Ming.