CARE is responding to a devastating earthquake that struck between the Nepalese capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara yesterday.
The death toll from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake is expected to reach the thousands, with hundreds of thousands of people having lost homes. Vital infrastructure including electricity, water and roads have been severely damaged by the massive quake.
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 Australia has launched an urgent appeal for funds to help those hit by this devastating earthquake.
CARE’s Emergency Response Coordinator in Kathmandu, Santosh Sharma, said earthquake survivors have spent the night gripped with fear due to severe aftershocks.
“Almost everyone has slept outside and they are 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,” Mr Sharma said.
“There is no electricity, and soon there will be a scarcity of water. People have been pooling their resources together, but there will soon be problems with food and with 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. It’s essential to get help to these people as quickly as we can.”
$95 can provide food for 15 days, $144 can provide clean drinking water for 12 families (with water purification sachets and buckets) and $280 can provide emergency shelter to a family.