CAFOD Response to Second Earthquake

The following article is from ICN
CAFOD and its partners are assessing the damage and delivering aid after Nepal was hit by a second major earthquake.

Nepal has been hit by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake and several aftershocks, just over two weeks after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake claimed more than 8,000 lives. CAFOD staff and partners are on the ground assessing the damage and responding to the disaster.

Catherine Cowley, CAFOD’s Protection Coordinator, was in Bakrang in Gorkha District when the earthquake struck, working with a community who have recently received shelter kits, hygiene kits and mattresses. She said: “There was a large group of us meeting outside when the earth started shaking. Everyone started pointing at the trees and running. The earthquake lasted quite a while and there have been several aftershocks since then.

“Many houses in the villages here had already been destroyed by the last earthquake, but we saw one that had only been cracked collapse. Across Nepal, a lot of houses which were already partially damaged could fall down.

“The impact could be immense. But the biggest impact is fear. Everyone is desperately trying to contact their families to make sure they’re safe. Everyone is scared that more buildings will collapse. When we started the car to leave the village, a woman screamed because she thought the engine noise was another aftershock. People are traumatized and panicking. Driving through the countryside you can see people gathered outside, scared to go indoors.”

Jen Hardy from CAFOD partner Catholic Relief Services was accompanying an aid delivery in the small village of Sadobato in Gorkha District when the earthquake struck. In a series of tweets, she described the situation: “Two strong aftershocks as distribution started in Sadobato. Two more houses collapsed. No injuries. Ground still shaking slightly.”

“Everyone on edge after 3rd aftershock in a row. Last one not as strong. Might be more severe here as we are on a ridge top.”

“A latrine nearby just collapsed, although ground stopped shaking about 10 minutes ago. People very nervous in Sadobato.”

Giovanna Reda, CAFOD’s Head of Humanitarian for Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, said: “We are relieved that all CAFOD staff in Nepal are safe, but we are deeply concerned about the impact of this second major earthquake. With yet more houses destroyed as the monsoon rains begin, people will urgently need shelter kits, as well as food and hygiene kits to prevent the spread of disease.”

Catholics in England and Wales have already donated more than £1.1 million to CAFOD’s Nepal Earthquake appeal. Thanks to these donations, the agency has worked with Caritas Nepal and other sister agencies in the Caritas family to support to more than 38,000 people since 25 April. As the impact of this second earthquake becomes clear, CAFOD staff and partners will continue to work around the clock to reach those who are most in need.

To donate to CAFOD’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal, go to: http://www.cafod.org.uk/Nepal

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