Saturday, March 26
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presbyterian church (U.S.A.) helps victims of Nepali quake
Thousands were Killed and Injured in Powerful 7.8 Earthquake
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015, is considered the worst in more than 80 years. —Adna Abidi
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance was quick to respond when a devastating earthquake in Nepal last April, killed more than 8,000 people. Rescue and recovery efforts were hampered by the damage from collapsed buildings, landslides and aftershocks. Some villages and small communities were virtually wiped out by the 7.8 magnitude quake, the worst in more than 80 years, according to government officials.
The government of Nepal declared a state of emergency after the quake, saying rescuers were unable to reach some villages with needed food, water, blankets and medicine. Gathering information from the areas was a particular challenge. Ground transportation was hampered by debris in the roadways, and there were few helicopters to transport goods.
The quake struck on April 25, 2015, just west of the Nepali capital of Kathmandu and caused avalanches around Mount Everest. At least 20 hikers are died, and dozens more were injured, when an Everest basecamp was partially buried, according to government officials.
“Forty of the 75 districts in Nepal have been affected, some of them severely, especially in the central and hilly regions,” Nirmal Singh, head of emergency for CASA (Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action), said shortly after the quake. “Hospitals are near the breaking point with a rush of the injured, and some families lost more than one member in the calamity.”
Singh told Presbyterian Disaster Assistance staff that powerful aftershocks sent people scurrying into open fields, streets and school buildings. One tremor, he said, lasted more than 30 seconds and could be felt in India and Bhutan.
“Rescuers have been hunting for survivors under heaps of debris with bare hands as well as with heavy equipment, though the efforts have been hampered by fresh tremors, thunderstorms and snowfall in the mountain ranges,” he added. “With electric poles and lines uprooted, most parts of the country have no electricity, and authorities say the situation is likely to continue for the next few days.”
Meantime, PDA worked with its partner in the region, ACT Alliance, whose members were already on the ground in Nepal, to meet immediate needs such as food, water and other supplies.
“As long-term recovery plans are developed, PDA will accompany and further financially support our partners in the area to ensure a comprehensive recovery is sustained,” said Laurie Kraus, PDA coordinator.
Rick Jones, communications strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency
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PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Dear God: Thank you for giving us opportunities to serve, to be your hands and feet and to share our time, talents and treasures with our neighbors in need. Amen.