Anticipated scope and scale
Given the shallow depth of the earthquake, aftershocks are expected to continue for some time. Aftershocks are expected to cause further damage and debilitate already weak infrastructure.
The number of casualties is expected to increase into the thousands.
Kathmandu Valley (population: 2.5 million) is a densely populated area; many people live in buildings that cannot withstand a significant seismic event. 6.6 million people live within the affected areas.
Limited access to affected areas is expected to hamper search and rescue efforts. Clearing the debris is expected to take weeks.
Rain is predicted throughout the next three days and people will need shelter. Visibility and access is expected to be impaired, further hampering search and rescue efforts.
Priorities for humanitarian intervention
Search and rescue;
Health: medical and surgery equipment and staff, triage;
Shelter: family kits, plastic sheets, blankets;
WASH: provision of safe drinking water, hygiene kits;
Mobile storage units;
The size of the geographical areas affected, scattered population and road blockages will pose serious challenges to reach affected populations.