Just over two weeks after a major earthquake caused widespread destruction and killed over 8,000 people in Nepal, the country has been hit by a second strong earthquake today. The situation is changing hour by hour, but early reports are that it has caused further significant landslides and building collapses, leading to dozens of deaths and thousands of injuries.
All We Can is continuing to respond to the rapidly evolving situation on the ground and is appealing for further donations towards the vital relief effort. Fortunately, we have heard from staff and partners in Nepal today and they are safe. Partnership Manager Nick Burn, who was in Nepal at the time of the first quake and stayed on to co-ordinate and support the response of local partners, reported today from the field:
“People are very nervous. When the quake happened this morning everyone came running out of buildings. Your heartrate increases as its happening and you just never know what’s going to happen from one moment to the next. Many of the aftershocks feel like earthquakes themselves, but this one was obviously a big one. Where we are, in Gorkha District, a woman and two children were injured as a building collapsed and we’re getting phone calls that there have been more deaths in other areas, but this is not yet verified.”
“The main thing now is that people are more anxious. After two weeks people thought it was getting back to normal, but this has been quite traumatic. People will be even more reluctant to stay inside and will stay under tarpaulins. The big challenge now is to get everything organised and get relief going again.”
Bina Silwal, director of All We Can’s long-standing local partner Kopila, which is providing relief in some of the areas most affected by the first earthquake, added:
“The second hit created more fear in all of us about the uncertain future. But we do not have any alternative rather than accept it. We pray for our safety and security.”
All We Can’s Deputy Chief Executive, Simeon Mitchell, commented:
“We are relieved to hear that Nick and our local partners are safe following this second earthquake. Our thoughts and prayers today are with those who have been affected. It is the last thing that Nepal needed, and will have a major physical and emotional impact on people still reeling from the effects of the first quake. Donations to our Nepal Earthquake Appeal will mean we are able to continue to support our partners to meet both immediate and longer-term needs.”