An UPDATE on Nepal – Earthquake and World Response
On April 25, 2015, the worst earthquake to hit Nepal since 1934 struck. According to a CNN report on April 28, the official death toll has risen to 4,600, and many are expecting it to get much higher as rescuers and relief teams get out into the remote villages. Over 9,000 people have been injured. The earthquake had disastrous effects in Northern India as well as throughout the entire country of Nepal. “Any government in the world would have been overwhelmed by the scale of this disaster, but the logistical difficulties in Nepal, a poor, near-roadless, mountainous land, are extraordinary.” says of the Nepali Times.
At least three people in Bangladesh have also died. People are still terrified of aftershocks, and are therefore sleeping out on the street. Volunteers are still going through tons of rubble, searching for bodies. Much of the infrastructure in Nepal has been completely destroyed, making it difficult for aid workers to get out to villages to offer relief. Helicopters have been sent out to search for survivors in these villages and bring them into cities so they can get the food, water, and shelter they need. (The story continues after image.)
As if the earthquake weren’t enough, there was a landslide on Tuesday afternoon in Langtang National Park, a popular trekking area north of Kathmandu. The disaster has left 250 people missing.
The New York Times has a good article with stories from survivors near the epicenter, and the crisis they are currently facing. Read the article here. Matt Stevens is a World Vision U.S. staffer who was in Nepal last week for a conference. Only 30 minutes before the earthquake he was standing in Durbar Square in front of a temple. Thirty minutes later, that temple was on the ground. Read his story here.
India has sent teams to help with disaster relief, so has China, Malaysia, Israel and the U.S.A. among many others. Even Bhutan has contributed which is good since Nepal’s army has only one big helicopter to its name. (For a list of countries, see link above.)
Many organizations were also already working in the area, and now their workers are in “disaster-relief” mode.
MercyCorps has one of the largest teams on the ground in Nepal reaching survivors with emergency supplies and evaluating conditions in some of the hardest-hit and remote areas. In addition to addressing urgent needs, they are preparing for longer-term recovery. Here is a page they are updating on a regular basis.
Multiple churches have been destroyed, and the International Mission Board reports that one church has lost 20 members. Christians in Nepal meet on Saturdays, so many of them would have been meeting together when the earthquake hit, which is the case with Living Word Church. Read the rest of the story here, and how you can give to relief efforts through Baptist Global Response (BGR).
WorldVenture was also already working in Nepal before the earthquake struck. They are partnering specifically with International Nepal Fellowship to distribute and mobilize aid workers. Once they have met immediate needs of food and shelter, WorldVenture will begin seeking community solutions for development and rebuilding.
ServLife has multiple orphanages in Nepal and India. All of their workers are safe, as well as all of the children. They have established an Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund. Donate here. You can also text SERVLIFE to 80888 from any mobile device and donate.
Samaritan’s Purse has a Post-Residency Program for doctors to practice medicine throughout the world. They have several families in Nepal who lived through the earthquake and are now helping in relief efforts. In addition to this, Samaritan’s Purse has also sent in a team to do relief.
World Vision has a page with ideas of ways you can fundraise in your community to help Nepal. You can even create your own fundraising page! World Vision is specifically focused on helping children, as often they are some of those who suffer most. So, if you have a soft spot for kids, this might be the best organization for you to help! The page also has a good infographic that would be a good visual to share with others as you fundraise.
For more on the story and more ways that you can help, visit https://www.gninsurance.com/international-crisis-response/nepal-earthquake-relief-2015/