Nepal

Update on Nepal deployment - United Nations Disaster and Coordination Assessment Team (UNDAC), 28 April 2015

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News and Press Release
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This update is produced by the Field Coordination Support Section (FCSS) of the Emergency Service Branch of OCHA Geneva. It was issued on 28 April 2015.

Background

On 25 April, an earthquake with of 7.8 magnitude and a depth of 2 km, hit Nepal near the capital city of Kathmandu. The government reported that 39 out of 75 districts have been affected in the Western and Central Regions, including Kathmandu Valley districts.

Due to the severity of the impact the Government of Nepal declared a state of emergency and, through the UN Resident Coordinator Office in Nepal, requested international assistance including the deployment of Urban Search and Rescue Teams and the mobilization of a United Nations Disaster and Assessment Coordination team (UNDAC).

FCSS immediately put together a team of specialized emergency response staff, including those with high expertise on USAR coordination. The team is comprised of 30 people from several organizations, such as OCHA, International Organizations for Migration and the Swedish Civil Contingencies agency (MSB), MapAction, Télécom Sans Frontières. The team will be strengthened with the arrival of additional staff from Europe (IHP) in the next coming hours.

Operational update

For the time being a total of 24 UNDAC members have arrived to the country, the rest of the team is expected to arrive today or tomorrow. Access into the country remains relatively difficult at present due to the sheer volume of incoming air traffic and limited space at the airport. UNDAC, Word Food Programme and DHL are supporting local authorities in their efforts to improve the situation as quickly as possible.

For the time being, the UNDAC team on the ground is coordinating and assisting USAR teams getting into the country. Teams are being coordinated centrally by the UNDAC team in support of the government through an On Site Operations Coordination Centre.

So far 21 Foreign Medical teams have been registered, but it is uncertain how many are operating on the ground. They are coordinated by the World Health Organization.

The International Humanitarian Partnership has deployed two aircraft carrying support material for the UNDAC team on the ground which include: material to set-up a OSOCC; heavy and light base camps and communications modules.

Urban Search and Rescue Operations

Around 37 USAR teams are currently operating on the ground with at least ten more are on stand by. USAR teams that have not yet departed for Nepal have been requested to stand down due to logistical challenges and capacity at the airport.

USAR teams are making a difference with live saves now being recorded by the Chinese and Turkish USAR teams. USAR Operations is gradually expanding to outside the capital of Kathmandu.

Main needs

The main needs right now continue to be ongoing search and rescue; medical supplies; tenting for hospitals; body bags; shelter materials; drinking water and purification; generators; and, communication equipment.

For more information, please contact the mission Focal Point in FCSS: Ben Negus negus@un.org +41 79468 5950

For more information please visit the Virtual OSOCC: EARTHQUAKE NEPAL 2015

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.