Relief Efforts Underway in Nepalese Communities Ravaged by Earthquake

by Andrew Wright
Nepal earthquake relief

As of Monday, humanitarian assistance began to slowly reach the villages of northwestern Nepal, devastated by a potent earthquake over the recent weekend, while residents delved into the debris of their destroyed dwellings to recover any possessions that had survived.

Striking just before the stroke of midnight on Friday, the earthquake, with a magnitude of 5.6, claimed 157 lives, inflicted injuries on numerous individuals, and rendered thousands without shelter. The seismic event, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, originated 11 miles deep (approximately 18 kilometers). The National Earthquake Monitoring and Research Center of Nepal pinpointed the quake’s epicenter in Jajarkot, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Kathmandu, the nation’s capital.

Efforts intensified on Monday as authorities endeavored to deliver basic necessities, including food, shelter materials, and medical supplies, to the isolated communities, some of which are accessible only on foot, due to landslides obstructing the roads—a direct aftermath of the quake. Military personnel were observed working assiduously to reopen these vital thoroughfares.

Rescue and recovery teams confirmed that their initial task—rescuing those trapped, securing medical attention for the wounded, and locating the deceased—had concluded.

“We have now transitioned to the secondary phase of our operation which includes distributing relief supplies, reaching out with assistance to villagers, and simultaneously compiling detailed reports of the destruction,” stated Harish Chandra Sharma, a government official.

The National Emergency Operation Center in Kathmandu reported the loss of 157 lives, with at least 256 people sustaining injuries, and a count of 3,891 houses suffering damage.

On Monday, the residents of Chepare were seen sifting through the remnants of what once were their homes, in hopes of retrieving anything salvageable.

“Our possessions are buried beneath the debris—our bedding, apparel, any jewelry and cash we had,” Nirmala Sharma lamented as she gestured towards the ruins of her house.

She recalled receiving a tent and some provisions the preceding Sunday evening. The local authorities had distributed essentials like rice, oil, noodles, and salt to the villagers, sufficient for a few days.

Temporary refuge came in the form of tarpaulins and plastic sheets for some, while thousands faced another night exposed to the elements.

Mina Bika recounted the harrowing experience of the earthquake: “The roof collapsed while we were asleep, burying us under. Thankfully, a family member came to our rescue.” Following the incident, her husband, who sustained severe injuries, was transported to a hospital in Surkhet, while she and her sons escaped with minor injuries.

“It seemed as if the entire world had crumbled, and I doubted if we had any survivors to call upon for assistance,” she expressed.

Most structures in the affected districts of Jajarkot and Rukum—comprised mainly of stone and log constructions—were either annihilated or incurred significant damage, including the few that were made of concrete.

Following a Cabinet assembly on Sunday, Communications Minister Rekha Sharma emphasized that the government’s immediate concerns were to ensure food security and erect provisional shelters, while also formulating plans for the reconstruction of the affected homes.

The tremors from Friday night’s quake were felt as far away as India’s capital, New Delhi, over 800 kilometers (500 miles) distant.

Nepal, a nation characterized by its mountainous terrain, is no stranger to earthquakes. A cataclysmic quake in 2015 of 7.8 magnitude resulted in approximately 9,000 fatalities and caused damage to nearly 1 million buildings.

This report was enriched by contributions from Upendra Man Singh of Big Big News, reporting from Jajarkot, Nepal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Nepal earthquake relief

What was the magnitude of the earthquake that struck Nepal?

The earthquake that hit Nepal had a magnitude of 5.6.

How many people were killed and injured in the Nepal earthquake?

The earthquake resulted in 157 deaths and at least 256 injuries.

What areas of Nepal were affected by the earthquake?

The northwest mountainous regions of Nepal, specifically the districts of Jajarkot and Rukum, were impacted by the earthquake.

Are there any ongoing relief efforts in Nepal following the earthquake?

Yes, authorities are actively engaged in providing food, shelter, medical supplies, and clearing access routes to the affected villages.

How are the survivors of the Nepal earthquake coping with the situation?

Survivors are salvaging belongings from the rubble and relying on government aid, which includes food and temporary shelter materials.

What challenges are relief efforts facing in delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nepal?

Relief efforts are hindered by landslides blocking roads, with many areas being reachable only by foot.

Has the government of Nepal begun planning for the reconstruction of damaged houses?

Yes, the government is focusing on food distribution and temporary shelters while planning the reconstruction of damaged homes.

Were other countries affected by the earthquake in Nepal?

The tremors from the earthquake were felt as far away as New Delhi, India, but significant damage was contained within Nepal.

How frequent are earthquakes in Nepal?

Earthquakes are common in Nepal due to its mountainous terrain and geological composition.

More about Nepal earthquake relief

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Susan Hargreaves November 6, 2023 - 3:16 pm

such a sad situation over there, I wish we could do more to prevent these things from happening, like really how many more have to suffer before we get better at this?

Liam Neeson November 6, 2023 - 4:51 pm

heard about the quake in Nepal, that’s tough. the resilience of the people is amazing though, stay strong!

Mark Townsend November 6, 2023 - 9:12 pm

This is really tragic news, prayers for the people of Nepal! Hope the relief efforts are ramped up and everyone gets the help they need.

Raj Patel November 6, 2023 - 10:00 pm

The government needs to step up their game, its not the first time we’re seeing this in Nepal, they should’ve been better prepared

Jenny K November 7, 2023 - 3:41 am

Does anyone know how to volunteer for the relief efforts, wanna do my part in helping out those in need?

Emma Watson November 7, 2023 - 10:38 am

Reading about the quake in Nepal broke my heart, Can’t imagine losing everything overnight, we should all donate to the relief funds.


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