A. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Description of the disaster
On Saturday, 25 April 2015, a powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 magnitudes on the Richter scale struck as area between Kathmandu and Pokhara at 11:56 local time. The epicentre was about 80km northwest of Kathmandu, but its impact was felt across 57 of Nepal’s 75 districts. A series of aftershocks caused further damage and loss of life. The strongest aftershock, measuring 7.3 magnitude, struck on 12 May 2015. The combined impacts of initial earthquake and its aftershocks resulted in death of 8,896 people, injured 22,303 people and impacted the lives of 8 million people4 .
A post-disaster need assessment estimated a total value of disaster damages and losses of approximately 7 billion US dollars.
Some 2,656 government buildings and 19,000 classrooms were completely destroyed. Further details on the damage and impact of earthquake and subsequent aftershocks can be found in the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report of the Government of Nepal’s National Planning Commission in 2015.
Nepal has not experienced such a mega disaster for the last 80 years. According to the Government, 14 severely affected districts were classified ‘Category A’. This includes Gorkha, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Sindhupalchowk, Ramechhap, Dolakha, Nuwakot, Dhading, Rasuwa, Sindhuli, Okhaldhunga, Makwanpur, and Khavre. Additionally, nine districts with medium damage were classified ‘Category B’ such as Sangja, Chitwan, Kaski, Tanahu, Khotang, Solukhumbu, Udayapur, Bhojpur and Lamjung. Many of the hardest-hit areas were rural, with some of them remote and difficult to reach, because of landslides and damaged/blocked access routes.
A state of national emergency was declared by the Government of Nepal (GoN) and an official request for international assistance was made within hours of the first earthquake.
Many humanitarian actors, including the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement (RCRC Movement) mobilized the full range of their resources to support the relief and recovery efforts in line with Nepal government’s overall strategy. On behalf of the Movement partners, the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) led the implementation and delivered immediate humanitarian assistance to more than 3.5 million people in more than 44 affected districts from 160 Village Development Committees (VDCs). In the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes, NRCS activated its emergency operation centres (EOC) at national headquarters’ as well as in all affected districts. NRCS governance, staff and volunteers were fully engaged and mobilized some 8,000 trained volunteers from 50 districts chapters to deliver immediate humanitarian assistance to the affected communities. They provided spontaneous assistance in caring for the injured, first aid services, transporting the injured people, mobilizing blood services and helping as caregivers in medical facilities, setting up temporary shelter, water and sanitation facilities, tracing services, provision of foods and non-food relief items (NFRIs).