Emergency Relief – Nepal EarthquakeBy Diocese of San Jose on April 28, 2015
A 7.8-magnitute earthquake struck Nepal in the late morning of April 25 just 50 miles northwest of the capital, Kathmandu, toppling buildings and homes, causing widespread panic, and claiming more than 3,800 lives. The devastation and toll on human life is still becoming clear as rescue workers access the affected areas and populations.
The earthquake struck the Kathmandu valley, which is densely populated with nearly 2.5 million people. Kathmandu’s streets and squares are covered in rubble and many are feared trapped in collapsed buildings. Many buildings, including historic sites, are destroyed or unsafe.
Tens of thousands of families are sleeping outside in Kathmandu and require shelter and protection from the cold and relentless rain, which has worsened conditions. Aftershocks continue—one reaching 6.7 magnitude and another 5.4 magnitude—increasing fear, causing further damage to buildings, and interrupting rescue operations. Most markets in Kathmandu are closed.
People urgently need basic essentials. Shelter, blankets, safe water, food, medical care, hygiene and counseling are priorites. Hygiene and sanitation are critical to preventing waterborne diseases.
CRS is providing 10,000 families (50,000 people) with emergency shelter materials, blankets, water treatment and hygiene kits. Given the scale of the disaster, we expect to expand relief activities to additional families. CRS is working with Caritas Nepal to identify the most pressing needs in the hardest hit districts between Kathmandu and Pokhara, and will scale our operations accordingly.
Highlights of CRS activities to Date:
- Deployed 15 CRS emergency specialists from India and elsewhere to Nepal immediately
- Transporting shelter kits, blankets, water purification kits and hygiene kits for 2,000 families
- Flying in 3,000 additional tarps from the hub in Dubai for immediate distribution
- Procuring critical supplies in neighboring Indian markets to meet urgent needs on the ground
A major focus of our efforts will be emergency shelter. CRS has committed an initial $825,000 from private funds to this response, a figure that is expected to rise as needs become clearer.
Your support helps to provide immediate relief. The following costs for relief items are estimates based on similar emergency relief efforts in the region:
$8 provides a water kit for a family. This includes a jerry can, a pail and aqua tabs for water purification.
$15 provides an emergency shelter kit. This includes tarps and nails to use with local materials to build shelters.
$22 provides household living supplies. This includes sleeping mats, blankets, utensils, plastics, glasses and a cooking pot.
$28 – provides hygiene kits. This includes soap, laundry detergent, toothbrush, toothpaste, and towels.
Our Thanks:Thank you for your prayers and support. Gifts can be made online at www.crs.org or by phone: 877-435-7277.
Checks may be sent to: CRS, P.O. Box 17526, Baltimore, MD 21298-8180 (“Nepal Earthquake” in memo line).