Nepal earthquake: CARE team on the ground
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal yesterday has devastated parts of the country. More than 2,000 people have died and hundreds of thousands have lost their homes. Vital infrastructure including electricity, water and roads has been severely damaged.
CARE’s emergency specialists from across the world are now on their way to Nepal, and CARE has over 150 staff in Nepal already working in the majority of the most affected districts.
CARE’s Emergency Response Coordinator in Kathmandu, Santosh Sharma, said earthquake survivors have spent the night gripped with fear due to severe aftershocks.
“Shelter is an immediate need. Almost 90 per cent of people are sleeping outside of their homes and creating temporary shelters with what they have. I am seeing women and children suffering a lot… They are living outside their homes and fear going inside in case there are more aftershocks,” Mr Sharma said. “Two of the aftershocks we’ve felt have been more than magnitude 5.”
We are also worried about water. Here, our water supply depends on electricity. The electricity was out yesterday, so we had no water.
Mr Sharma said the needs in response to this catastrophe would be immense, and CARE staff on the ground were now putting plans in place to assist up to 75,000 people with temporary shelter, ready-to-eat meals, water purification and toilet construction.
“More than 40,000 people are getting treatment in hospital, but there is no room inside the hospitals. Many are getting treated in the compound of the hospital. Medical supplies are an urgent need.
“All of the particularly vulnerable – children, breastfeeding mothers, people with chronic diseases – they have been suffering a lot. They were out of their homes for the entire night, living under the sky in the open.”
It’s essential to get help to these people as quickly as we can.
CARE has launched an urgent appeal for funds to help those hit by this devastating earthquake.
CARE has worked in Nepal since 1978, with programmes focused on areas including food security, HIV/AIDS, health, education, water and sanitation, and the empowerment of women and girls. CARE has responded to past emergencies in Nepal, including massive landslides in the Sindhupalchowk district in August 2014. CARE's emergency response teams specialise in providing life-saving food, water, shelter and health care.
CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing life-saving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE, which works in 90 countries around the world, places a special focus on women, children and other vulnerable populations, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. In 2014, our emergency response and recovery projects reached nearly four million people in 40 countries.
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