On the third day after the terrible April 25 earthquake in Nepal, the people in Nepal are still afraid of aftershocks, and they are still counting the number of dead and injured, numbers which continue to climb. The violent 7.8 magnitude earthquake has caused nearly 4,000 deaths so far, with more than 6,500 people injured and thousands of people still missing.
Development and Peace has already sent $50,000 to support the efforts of our Caritas partners on the ground, and is accepting donations from the public in solidarity with the thousands of victims of this disaster. Many Caritas organizations are joining together to assist Caritas Nepal in providing humanitarian disaster relief.
Caritas Nepal is providing tarps and tents to victims to protect themselves from the cold and rain: “What the people need immediately is shelter. Temperatures are dropping at night and there is also rain. Children are sleeping outside at night. It is really traumatic for them,” explained Father Pius Perumana, Director of Caritas Nepal.
Other urgent needs are water, food, sanitary facilities and hygiene items for the earthquake victims.
Father Pius Perumana added: “What I have seen is a lot of destruction. So many buildings collapsed and cracked. I saw a number of bodies on the street. People are still trapped in buildings and we don’t know whether they are dead or alive.”
Renuka Magdalene Thakuri found refuge with other families on the grounds of the Assumption Church in Kathmandu, where they are sleeping in tents: “We hope to go back to our house soon, but are hesitating because of the aftershocks. We feel safe in the church premises and thankful to Caritas Nepal for the tent. We have food and water, but shops and markets are closed.”
Fifteen-year-old Qurnainis another refugee at the Assumption Church with her family. She says that when the earthquake struck, she was in the house with her brother: “At first we thought it was the wind, then everything was shaking and my brother shouted it was an earthquake. I felt scared and about to die.”
“We came to the church because we know a lot of people here so we can be together and coordinate and help each other out,” explained the young girl.
Development and Peace is collecting donations from the public to meet the needs of victims. The Canadian government will match, dollar for dollar, all of the donations made by Canadians until May 25 to support the victims of the earthquake in Nepal.