7.8-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Nepal, Killing Hundreds

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International humanitarian organization Concern Worldwide is deploying a team to Nepal after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near the capital of the Himalayan country today. Nearly 1,000 people have been confirmed dead and more than 1,700 injured, but the extent of the damage is still unknown. Many people are feared trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings.

“While the true scale of the disaster is yet to be known, the earthquake has likely left thousands of people homeless with few resources to meet their most basic needs, as the number injured and killed is expected to rise,” says Dominic MacSorley, CEO of Concern Worldwide. “Our team will be assessing the greatest needs throughout the affected areas and will be prepared to respond as needed to critical and lifesaving interventions.”

The earthquake is the worst that the country has seen in more than 80 years. It hit just before noon and was followed by a series of aftershocks, including one that was 6.6 in magnitude. Most of the known dead and injured are in the valley surrounding the capital Kathmandu. Tremors were felt in India, Bangladesh, and other parts of the region and triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest.

Concern Worldwide worked in Nepal from 2006 to 2010, focusing on livelihoods, water and sanitation, and nutrition and is currently reaching out to former partner organizations on the ground. The organization has been a first responder in a number of earthquakes in the region and globally, including the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

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