Latest update from MSF in Nepal - Tuesday 28 April

News and Press Release
Originally published

Operational update

  • MSF currently has approximately 38 staff on the ground in Nepal, based in Kathmandu and Ghorka.

  • Kathmandu has experienced relatively low level destruction, the vast majority of buildings and houses are still standing. However, many people are sleeping outside in tents and makeshift shelters as they are afraid to be inside due to aftershocks. This is a concern given that storms are expected over the coming days.

  • We do not yet have a full overview of the needs, especially outside Kathmandu in areas that are only accessible by helicopter. Teams are focusing on accessing and assessing the situation in more remote and isolated areas outside Kathmandu. They are doing rapid assessments so that we can begin operations immediately and target our response according to the needs. Our priority is to reach people who have not yet received any assistance.

  • From first aerial assessments, the damage seems to be quite significant in a number of villages in the mountainous region. Due to the destruction, there is a need for relief items such as shelter, hygiene materials and cooking equipment.

On Monday 27th:

  • a team assessed the situation in two main hospitals in Kathmandu (Bir Hospital and Teaching Hospital). Both have been receiving wounded and are now lacking supplies. Patients are sleeping in tents in the grounds of Bir hospital.

  • a team did an aerial assessment by helicopter of areas to the east, north and west of Kathmandu. Of approximately 65 villages viewed, around 45 had visible damage or were destroyed. These areas are isolated and only accessible by helicopter. One village - Warpak - 45 km from Ghorka, has suffered extensive damage and the team plans to respond there.

  • teams arrived by road from Bihar (India) to Ghorka (200 km north west of Kathmandu). Ghorka town itself has not suffered damage.

  • a team assessed the situation in Bhaktapur (east of Kathmandu), which has experienced destruction. Hospital does not have a functional operating theatre and all cases are being referred to Kathmandu. People are staying in makeshift shelters in the open-air and the sanitation conditions are concerning - no latrines and water is scarce.

  • a surgical team and rapid intervention surgical kit arrived in Kathmandu late Monday night and will begin assessments asap on Tuesday.

On Tuesday 28th:

  • a team is doing further assessments of hospitals in Kathmandu, including looking at capacity for treatment of 'crush syndrome'. Depending on needs, MSF will support hospitals with supplies and HR.

  • relief items (1000 shelter kits, 500 hygiene kits, 500 kitchen kits) are on the way by road from Bihar (India) to Ghorka. These will be distributed to affected people in villages outside Ghorka.

  • a cargo with an inflatable field hospital is departing from Bordeaux to Kathmandu.

  • a team is assessing the situation in makeshift camps in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, with a particular focus on the water and sanitation situation.