A massive earthquake struck Nepal’s capital Kathmandu on Saturday morning, 25 May 2015. Thousands feared dead and injured.
A strong earthquake of magnitude 7.8 has shaken the Himalayas Nepal and adjacent regions in India on Saturday morning. The epicenter was about 80 kilometers north-west of Kathmandu. Houses and buildings collapsed, landslides buried countless people. Already, more than a thousand deaths are feared and every hour the number of dead is revised upwards. By evening there were almost 20 lighter aftershocks.
cbm staff member: "We ran for our lives"
cbm supports nine projects in Nepal including two eye clinics and projects for people with hearing impairments and community-based rehabilitation.
We spoke to Mitralal Shrestha, our 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.
"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."
People with disabilities are particularly affected
Our regional office has reported that cbm employees are safe, but the situation is catastrophic: hospitals are either destroyed or overcrowded.
Also the building of our partner "Hospital & Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children (HRDC)" has been has been cracked. It is so severely damaged that it had to shut down. All the little patients are now camping outside of the hospital exposed to any weather conditions. We are supporting the children by providing tents, heaters and blankets.
Nepal is one of the 20 poorest countries in the world, so the government has almost no means for emergency relief efforts. Our help is needed now to make sure that elderly people and people with disabilities who are particularly affected by such natural disasters are not left behind. People with disabilities are less able to escape and seek shelter.
cbm helps – join us!
cbm is specialized in short-term and long-term emergency relief for people with disabilities. We are currently carrying out a needs assessment with our local partners to ensure an efficient emergency response.
“We will make sure that no one is left behind and update you on further steps as we hear more” says Fiona Morris, Acting National Director of cbm New Zealand.