April 25, 2015

Nepal Earthquake: Handicap International teams begin emergency response

Handicap International has launched an emergency response following the violent earthquake that hit Nepal on earlier today. More than 1,000 people are reported dead, but that provisional toll is expected to rise given the widespread scale of destruction. Handicap International, active in Nepal since 2000, began offering support to several hospitals on Saturday. The association is calling for donations to help the most vulnerable.

A violent, 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, its epicenter was located 80 km (50 miles) northwest of the capital, Kathmandu. This earthquake, the most devastating to strike the country this century, has claimed more than 1,000 lives, injured thousands of people and destroyed many buildings.

"The earthquake was devastating,” says Sarah Blin, Program Director for Handicap International in Nepal, “and the earth trembled again several times in the day. Many buildings collapsed, especially outside Kathmandu. The population is in shock. The people rushed outside and moved to evacuation centers. Many will spend the next few nights outside, and are in need of camping equipment, especially the most fragile people.

“Hospitals are overwhelmed, understaffed and lacking medical supplies such as bandages and walking aids. With roads blocked and difficult or interrupted communications, the situation is particularly problematic for remote villages."

Handicap International has solid experience in assisting victims of earthquakes, proven on the largest scale in its response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. It is paramount that the wounded are taken care of immediately to reduce the risk of long-term disabilities. After such a strong earthquake, we see cases of multiple fractures and spinal cord injuries among the people who survive building collapses.

Handicap International’s teams have already brought relief to the most vulnerable people. Staff distributed equipment, including wheelchairs, at two hospitals. "Our teams are safe, they have mobilized immediately. Now we are in the process of
accurately assessing needs so that we can set up our emergency response, " Blin adds.

Handicap International is calling for donations to help the earthquake victims in Nepal: https://handicapinternational.nationbuilder.com/donate_now_nepal_emergency



Mica Bevington, Director of Communications and Marketing
Handicap International US
 +1 (240) 450-3531