Caritas Reports Earthquake Devastation in Nepal Remote Communities

A father holds his injured son after being brought to a hospital April 29 near Kathmandu, Nepal. (CNS photo/Narendra Shrestha, EPA)

Caritas aid missions are reporting that villages in remote areas of Nepal have been utterly devastated by the earthquake. Speaking from Pokhari danda in Gorkha, 15 km from the epicentre, Stefen Teplan of Caritas Germany said, “Sixty percent of the village is destroyed. More than food and water, what is needed most is temporary shelter before the monsoon sets in.”

The full scale of the disaster is becoming clear. The death toll from the 7.9 magnitude earthquake increased to 6,000 with thousands still reported missing. Over 130,000 houses have been destroyed and 85,000 houses partially damaged. There are 30 out of 75 districts in the country affected. This includes mountain and hilly areas, in areas where rural populations are dispersed.

Advertisement

Reports from Catholic Relief Services (CRS) emergency personnel in Kathmandu tell of cold rain making life miserable for the tens of thousands who have been living outside in fear of continuing aftershocks since the earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday.

“The situation is getting critical with the rain and cold winds,” said Kushal Neogy, a member of the CRS India staff who was in Nepal during the earthquake and has stayed to help with relief efforts. “It slows down the rescue and relief operation and makes life difficult for those living on the street or in open fields.”

Caritas has reached 4,000 families in the Kathmandu Valley with plastic sheets, blankets and food. Teams have also reached some of the worst affected rural areas of Gorkha, Sindapalchowk, Nuwakot and Kavre.

“Each of these teams is staffed by experience experts,” said Pius Perumana SJ, director of Caritas Nepal. “They can evaluate what people need most.”

The priority is shelter.

“The people who have lost their homes are exposed to the rain and cold weather at night. They really need international solidarity,” said Angan Baj, Emergency Response Manager for Caritas India, who is with the team visiting villages in Gorkha.

Caritas will also be providing food, clean water and sanitation and counselling.

Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Michel Roy says Caritas has been flooded with donations and solidarity from across the globe. Caritas members worldwide have pledged 3 million euros in the first days following the quake.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Father Michael Nixon and parishioner work a volunteer table at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Panama City, Fla. Photo by Atena Sherry.
Much like New Orleans’ Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina, the low-income neighborhoods east of Panama City, where St. Dominic is located, were especially hard-hit by the storm. Now residents here are desperate for help.
Atena SherryOctober 18, 2018
“I believe there are adequate, alternative options for true women’s health care out there, and Planned Parenthood is not needed,” said Alisha Fox, a health and wellness coach at a Catholic fertility center in Chicago.
Colleen ZeweOctober 18, 2018
 Ethiopian Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel of Addis Ababa checks out the name badge of Nathanael Lamataki, a youth delegate from the French territory of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, as they leave a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 5. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Cardinal Souraphiel highlighted the role globalization plays in connecting young people in unjust ways.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 18, 2018
The pope said he would visit North Korea “if an official invitation arrives.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 18, 2018