World Vision Australian chief executive Tim Costello said he was devastated that Nepal had been hit by powerful 7.4 and 6.3 magnitude earthquakes just two weeks after more than 8000 people were killed on April 25.
“I’m devastated to hear of new earthquakes striking Nepal as the country struggles to get back onto its feet after the April 25 disaster,” Mr Costello said. “I’m thinking about, and praying for, the people of Nepal and all aid workers there.”
World Vision is working to locate staff and assess potential impacts to already displaced children and communities following the earthquake, which struck at 12.50pm Nepal time near Namche Bazar.
With a shallow depth of 19km it shook already vulnerable structures causing widespread panic as people in Kathmandu and nearby districts evacuated to open spaces. Reports of new deaths and injuries are being confirmed.
“We felt a very strong aftershock. I could see in the eyes of the people who experienced the first quake – they were just terrified,” said Jimmy Nadapdap, World Vision Nepal Earthquake Response Manager. “We all managed to get outside to safety.
“We are now trying to locate our staff – many are in the field working on our relief operations today. It is a reminder of how challenging this situation is for us all.”
World Vision Nepal’s Sunjuli Kunwar added, “What we thought was an aftershock striking us continued as the ground just kept on shaking. It got so strong I dashed out of the house to check on my son who was playing outside. A lot of people rushed to open spaces. Mobile phones lines were jammed. There was chaos everywhere.”
World Vision’s Nepal Earthquake Emergency Response has reached more than 30,000 people to date, supporting the urgent needs of earthquake-affected families in the hardest-hit areas of Gorkha, Lamjung, Sindhuli, Sindhupalchowk and Kathmandu valley in the aftermath of the 7.8 earthquake on April 25.
Aftershocks continue to hinder relief efforts and create further anxiety for already distressed earthquake-affected children and communities.
Source: World Vision Australia
Image Source: REUTERS / Navesh Chitrakar