3 Relief Organizations In Nepal Right Now Helping Those Left Shell-Shocked By The Second Earthquake
A potentially devastating earthquake struck Nepal early on Tuesday, just two weeks after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed more than 8,000 people and caused massive structural damage in the nation's capital of Kathmandu and its surrounding rural area. This second earthquake was almost just as powerful as the first, with a magnitude of 7.3. Nepalese officials believe at least 37 people are dead, and more than 1,000 have been injured, according to BBC News. A handful of aid organizations have been in Nepal since the initial earthquake, and remain to help with the effects of the second.
This 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit about 47 miles east of Kathmandu, near the village of Namche Bazar — a predominantly rural area not far from Mount Everest and the Nepal-China border. But like the first earthquake that struck about 50 miles outside Kathmandu on April 25, this latest tremor was felt in the nation's capital.
According to eyewitness accounts, the violent shaking caused people in the area to run into the busy Kathmandu streets, where they waited in case of any aftershocks. BBC News correspondent Simon Cox reported that this recent tremor lingered "for about 25 seconds — the ground was shaking, the birds started squawking, you could feel the buildings shaking."
This second earthquake to strike Nepal in the last two weeks is a major blow to the nation already struggling with immense loss of life. Thousands more have been displaced from their homes since April 25, taking refuge in shelters put together by the dozens of organizations providing on-the-ground relief. But for many first responders and relief teams, this latest earthquake will be a huge setback for recovery operations.
"In Kathmandu, people who had only a couple of days ago returned to their homes, are now preparing to sleep out again," Mercy Corps representative Christy Delafield tells Bustle in an email. "It is expected that communities will have suffered further from today’s earthquake activity."
With thousands still injured or displaced and relief efforts hindered, here's a breakdown of some of the major organizations providing on-the-ground support in Nepal right now...
The global humanitarian organization, which has been providing support services in Nepal since 2006, launched an immediate emergency response following the April 25 earthquake. On Tuesday, Mercy Corps representatives said they had relief teams in the hard-hit districts of Sindhupalchowk and Kavre, while other response teams have been distributing supplies and reassessing houses and buildings for safe reconstruction. As of May 5, Mercy Corps workers delivered aid such as relief kits to 500 houses — or about 3,000 in all.
Members of WaterAid have been working on the ground in Nepal with local staff and authorities to bring clean water to heavily impacted areas and displaced residents. In a recent article published on Medium, the WaterAid Nepal team described their latest efforts in the remote Nepalese villages:
After a disaster, we know how important it is to make sure those affected can access safe water and dispose of human waste safely, helping to prevent potentially deadly outbreaks of diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid. That’s why, together with a Ministry of Health immunisation programme, our partners are providing hygiene kits to 6,000 households — around 33,000 people — across the country.
Members of the United Nations Children's Fund have been working tirelessly in Nepal over the last two weeks, trying to protect the roughly 2 million children affected by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake. "UNICEF has been working round the clock to get life-saving aid to children since the first quake hit - including tents, safe drinking water, hygiene kits, medical supplies and vital counseling to help children come to terms with their experiences," UNICEF emergency communications specialist Rose Foley said Tuesday in a statement. "Our focus is now on how children may have been impacted by this new earthquake - both in terms of their immediate humanitarian needs and the devastating emotional impact that this new shock could have."
Images: Mercy Corps (2), Getty Images (1)