Nepal: Another severe earthquake – Epicentre in Malteser International project area
Malteser International team in Dhulikhel all well – Emergency aid will continue as soon as possible
The Malteser International team in Nepal has returned to its base in Dhulikhel, east of Kathmandu, following the severe new earthquake which struck Nepal this morning. The leader of the Malteser International emergency aid effort on the ground, Dr. Marie Theres Benner, was at first only able to announce by SMS: “Its total chaos here. We are all well.” She later reported by telephone, saying: “people ran into the streets in panic. The tremor lasted for what felt like 15 seconds.”
The hotel in Dhulikhel where the seven-strong team had been staying was damaged in the tremor and they will be forced leave. “We will pitch tents here and move our office into one of them,” Dr. Benner said. “The government has recommended that people remain outside for the next 72 hours. There is a great danger that many of the buildings which were damaged in the first earthquake will now collapse completely.” The new earthquake has also raised the risk of further landslides and avalanches.
Malteser International will continue its aid efforts as soon as possible.In the Sindupalchok region – the epicentre of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake – Malteser International has been distributing aid materials in the aftermath of the first devastating earthquake which struck the country just over two weeks ago on the 25th April. Food, hygiene articles, tarpaulins and equipment for clearing debris were distributed to around 10,000 people across twelve villages. Malteser International also distributed aid goods in the Khavre district.
Almost half a million houses were destroyed or severely damaged by the first earthquake in the country at the end of April. More than 8,000 people lost their lives, and almost 18,000 were wounded. The UN estimated that over 8 million people – something like a quarter of the Nepalese population – were affected by the disaster and in need of humanitarian aid. This new earthquake will increase the need of the Nepalese population even further.
About Malteser International:
Malteser International is the humanitarian relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta. With over 100 projects annually in some 25 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas, Malteser International has been standing by those affected by poverty, disease, conflict and disaster, helping them lead a healthy life with dignity – without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles build the foundation of its work. For more information: www.malteser-international.org and www.orderofmalta.int