Earthquake devastates thousands in Nepal

The impact:

  • 8 million in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA)
  • Over 8,000 people injured (OCHA)
  • Thousands of lives claimed with the toll continuing to rise

How we're helping:

  • Plan is on the ground and airlifting immediate aid, including food kit distribution
  • Plan has distributed over 5,500 emergency shelter kits, as well as blankets, bed nets, etc.
  • Plan has distributed over 1,000 education kits to children
  • Plan has begun opening Child Friendly Spaces for thousands of children

Our relief efforts in the coming days and weeks will focus on:

    • Water and sanitation
    • Child protection
    • Emotional and psychological support
    • Educational support – we plan to build 100 temporary learning spaces to accommodate up to 12,000 students

On the morning of April 25, 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the densely populated Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, killing thousands and injuring thousands more. It is being recorded as the worst earthquake to hit the country in 80 years.*

The quake triggered landslides and crumbled buildings -- cutting off power and leaving entire homes, temples, and other structures in the area completely destroyed. Hospitals are at their capacity and many have been forced to take to the streets, barricaded by blocked roads and left with little or no means of communication.

Devastation from this disaster -- which was 16 times more powerful than the quake that shook Haiti just 4 years ago* -- has also rippled out to the surrounding countries of India and Bangladesh.

Nepal's mountainous terrain will make relief efforts more difficult and the full extent of destruction will only be known once rural areas outside Kathmandu are reached. Officials fear the death toll will continue to rise.

There is no question that the impact on affected children and families will be massive.

Plan is on the ground in affected areas

Plan has been working in Nepal since 1978, with field offices in the areas of Kathmandu, Makwanpur and Baglung. Our staff were present when the quake first hit.

Plan UK chief executive Tanya Barron is in Nepal on a program visit and was in a meeting when the earthquake first struck.

“It was frightening,” she said. "I had the strange feeling of the floor moving slightly ... A second later the whole room moved and then the whole building. Then our local friends really looked worried and said this was much stronger than anything before, and we should get out fast."

Plan staff are already mobilized to assess the situation and are ready to quickly respond with relief efforts. In any emergency children are the most affected -- and the most vulnerable.

“Children may be separated from their families, they may be injured themselves, their homes may be damaged or destroyed, and they may be deeply traumatized," said Plan International Nepal's Country Director Mattias Bryneson, who is currently located in Nepal.

"Making sure that their core needs, including shelter, water, healthcare, and essential protection mechanisms, will be among our immediate priorities,” he said.

Plan is already working to provide life-saving emergency assistance, ensuring we reach children and the most vulnerable people to support their immediate needs, as well as long-term recovery.

But we need your help.

“It’s dark now in Kathmandu, and power is out in most areas. It seems as though the entire city is outside, sleeping on the streets,” said Bryneson. “The demand for humanitarian relief is massive, and we’re focused on getting aid distributed in coordination with other agencies, NGOs, and the government as quickly and efficiently as possible."

Help us protect affected children and families in this devastating time, when they are most at risk and their rights are most threatened. Together, we can save lives.

Plan staff are currently focusing on providing emergency relief, and are unable to provide news on individual sponsored children at this time. We will continue to release details as we assess the situation. Please visit this website, as well as our Facebook and Twitter for updates on the situation in Plan-affiliated communities.

*Source: CBC

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