Nepal earthquake

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original

On 25th April 2015 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, close to Kathmandu, the capital city. The number of casualties is currently 700-1000 and expected to increase.

CBM has been in contact with our staff on the ground, who are safe, and we are now trying to reach all partners.

CBM contacting staff and partners

On 25th April 2015 at 11:41 local time a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, with the epicentre 81km northwest of Kathmandu. There were tremors of up to two minutes and by evening, at least 18 aftershocks had been felt.

By 8pm local time more than 800 people are known to have died, with more than 2000 casualties. The number of casualties is expected to increase greatly as information is collected.

CBM Emergency Response Unit has been in contact with our Regional and Country Offices, and staff directly affected on the ground, who are safe. We are in the process of contacting partners, and more info will follow as soon as we have it.

CBM is supporting 9 partner-projects in Nepal (plus the country office). These include eye and ear care programmes, Community-based Rehabilitation, mainstreaming of mental health and psychosocial disability, education and livelihood and empowerment of women.

Disability and emergencies

In any emergency or disaster, people who live with some form of disability are disproportionally affected. Reasons for this include inaccessibility of warning messages and emergency shelters, loss and damage of assistive devices, disruption of support networks and increased difficulty in accessing basic humanitarian operations (food, water, shelter, sanitation and health care services).

At the same time, emergencies can increase the number of people who experience disability, both short and long-term, due to injuries sustained and lack of effective medical services.

First report directly from Kathmandu

We spoke with Mitralal Shrestha, CBM Nepal, Finance and Admin Officer. He and his family were directly affected (but are safe).

"When the earthquake struck it was Saturday midday, so most people were in their houses. I was with my family, having lunch. When it happened I didn't think anything about saving my life, we just all went outside - my family and our neighbours - and went to a safe place. We are OK.

"But after about half an hour we realised many bad things had happened. It was then a terrible time for half an hour with a lot of tension. A seven-storey building only 300 metres from my house had collapsed. More than 25 families were staying there. It was totally destroyed.

"We helped the people - calling police, taking them to hospital. In the hospital there were no free beds; people were just lying on the floor getting treatment. Now [10pm local time] it is dark but many people are still outside, sitting around, afraid to go back inside in case of more earthquakes."