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Earthquake in Nepal

7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on the morning of April 25, causing severe damage and loss of life across the small nation. Episcopal Relief & Development will help meet urgent needs such as food, clean water and shelter, as well as support for assessment and search and rescue teams in the initial phase of the disaster, through the ACT Alliance in Nepal and with partners in surrounding areas including northern India and southwest China.

 

Episcopal Relief & Development Web Statement

May 12, 2015

Episcopal Relief & Development is providing emergency assistance after another powerful earthquake struck Nepal on Tuesday, May 12.

The 7.3-magnitude quake hit eastern Nepal between Mount Everest and Kathmandu. According to recent reports, at least 48 people have died and more than 1,200 have been injured. Aftershocks continue, including one with a magnitude of 6.3. Neighboring countries such as India and Bangladesh have experienced major tremors with over a dozen deaths in northern India.

Episcopal Relief & Development has provided additional humanitarian support through the ecumenical ACT Alliance. They are delivering emergency food, shelter, clean water and other essentials. Episcopal Relief & Development has contacted other potential partners in the region to help reach people impacted by this disaster.

Less than three weeks ago, on April 25, Nepal was devastated by 7.8-magnitude earthquake close to Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara. This quake killed more than 8,000 people. Subsequent aftershocks leveled neighborhoods, businesses, religious sites and other structures.  Episcopal Relief & Development supported the ACT Alliance’s initial appeal targeting 125,000 people in severely affected districts.

“There is an enormous amount of need in Nepal after the earthquakes,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Interim Senior Program Officer for International Emergency Response Coordination “Our prayers are with local partners who are offering care and critical supplies to those devastated by of these disasters.”

Please continue to pray for all those affected. To make a donation to the Nepal Earthquake Response Fund, visit episcopalrelief.org.

Episcopal Relief & Development works with more than 3 million people in nearly 40 countries worldwide to overcome poverty, hunger and disease through multi-sector programs that utilize local resources and expertise. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, Episcopal Relief & Development works closely with Anglican Communion and ecumenical partners to help communities rebuild after disasters and develop long-term strategies to create a thriving future. In 2014-15, the organization joins Episcopalians and friends in celebrating 75 Years of Healing a Hurting World. 


Episcopal Relief & Development Web StatementMay 5, 2015

Episcopal Relief & Development is responding to immediate needs for food, shelter and clean water in earthquake-impacted Nepal through the ecumenical ACT Alliance, and is exploring further opportunities for action through other partners in the region.  The organization is in contact with the Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia regarding its appeal for the work of the Deanery of Nepal (part of the Diocese of Singapore), and may also support partners in northern India and southwest China.

"Responding through the ACT Alliance as an initial step allows Episcopal Relief & Development to relay the care and support of our community to those in Nepal who are hurting from the earthquake and its aftermath," said Abagail Nelson, the organization's Senior Vice President of Programs.  "Our support is essential as the Alliance leverages strong local partnerships to assess and meet the needs of thousands of people for food, shelter and clean water.  Our prayers are with all those in Nepal and the surrounding area who are working to heal lives shattered by this event."

The ACT Alliance issued an official appeal on May 1 detailing proposed activities to reach approximately 125,000 people in the most severely affected districts of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Dhading, Gorkha, Sindhupalchowk, Lamjung and Kabre.  Although some of the estimated 2.8 million people displaced by the earthquake are returning to their homes, shelter is a top priority for the 70,000 families whose homes were destroyed and the additional 900,000 people who are sleeping outside their undamaged homes for fear of aftershocks.  The ACT Alliance aims to reach 12,000 families with supplies and training to construct temporary shelters, and provide support for 2,500 vulnerable households to rebuild their permanent homes.  Additional priorities include the provision of food and household items, as well as supplying clean water and installing or rehabilitating sanitation systems in camps and established neighborhoods.  ACT Alliance members in Nepal have already distributed ready-to-eat food, blankets and tarps for emergency shelter to over 2,100 families in informal displacement camps around Kathmandu.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25 was centered between the capital, Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara, 130 miles west.*  The original quake and powerful subsequent aftershocks leveled neighborhoods, businesses and iconic religious sites, particularly those in older or poorer areas where structures were made of mud brick.  The death toll as of May 5 exceeds 7,300, with search and rescue operations still in progress.

Initial relief operations are focused on meeting urgent basic needs of people who were displaced or otherwise impacted by the earthquake.  Assessments currently underway will help inform medium- and long-term efforts to help those most vulnerable to make a full and sustained recovery.  With the planting season reportedly six weeks away and monsoon rains beginning in eight weeks, timely action is needed in order to avoid prolonging emergency needs.

Episcopal Relief & Development and its peers in the Anglican Alliance, the group of Anglican Communion relief and development agencies, urge prayers for all those impacted by the earthquake in Nepal. 

An adaptation of Psalm 23 from ecumenical group Christian Aid:

Lord, who is our shepherd,
We pray for the people of Nepal in this time of want.
Guide those who grieve to still waters; restore their soul.
Lead those who are searching to the right places.
Comfort those who are trapped in the darkest valley of fear.
May generosity and compassion overflow in response
so that goodness and mercy may follow all
who will live in the shadow of this earthquake.
May they dwell in secure houses and
know healing and protection all their life long.

Amen.

Please pray for those impacted by this disaster.  To support the Nepal Earthquake Response Fund, please visit episcopalrelief.org.

Episcopal Relief & Development works with more than 3 million people in nearly 40 countries worldwide to overcome poverty, hunger and disease through multi-sector programs that utilize local resources and expertise. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, Episcopal Relief & Development works closely with Anglican Communion and ecumenical partners to help communities rebuild after disasters and develop long-term strategies to create a thriving future. In 2014-15, the organization joins Episcopalians and friends in celebrating 75 Years of Healing a Hurting World. 

*a previous version that was circulated indicated that Pokhara is 130 miles east of Kathmandu; in fact, it is 130 miles west.


Episcopal Relief & Development Web StatementApril 27, 2015

Episcopal Relief & Development is working with the ecumenical ACT Alliance in Nepal and local partners in northern India and southwest China regarding urgent needs and assessment efforts following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck near Kathmandu on the morning of April 25.

The earthquake was centered east of Nepal's capital, near the town of Pokhara, though the initial quake and subsequent aftershocks were felt as far away as Pakistan, more than 800 miles away.  The death toll reported late April 27 exceeds 3,900, including 17 who died in an avalanche on Mt. Everest, with the number expected to rise over the coming days.  Due to the rough terrain and isolated nature of communities in Nepal and across the Himalayas, search and rescue efforts are being carried out on foot and by helicopter.  Communications are still down across wide areas of the region, further hampering assessment and rescue efforts.

"The mountain communities that we suspect are in most need of help are also the hardest to get to, accessible only by foot under normal circumstances," said Nagulan Nesiah, Episcopal Relief & Development's Senior Program Officer for Disaster Response and Risk Reduction.  "Getting assessment teams there to gather information will be a challenge, as will transporting the relief supplies that are needed so urgently."

Responding to immediate needs for food, clean water and shelter, as well as the need for accurate information through on-the-ground assessment, Episcopal Relief & Development will support ACT Alliance efforts implemented through a partner office in Kathmandu.  The ACT Alliance works in coordination with major international groups such as UN OCHA to maximize efficiency and impact of aid, mobilizing local networks to reach remote areas.

Episcopal Relief & Development is in contact with the Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia regarding support for the work of the Deanery of Nepal, which is part of the Diocese of Singapore.  The organization may also support other partners in the region including CASA, the humanitarian arm of the National Council of Churches in India, and the Amity Foundation, an independent Christian organization in China.

"It is a frightening time, with so many homes and buildings already destroyed and the threat of aftershocks causing others to collapse," said Abagail Nelson, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Vice President of Programs.  "People need spiritual support as they try to keep their families safe, or find and save those who are missing.  We urge prayers for all those impacted by the quake, and for those who are bringing relief, support and encouragement to people in need." 

Please donate to the Nepal Earthquake Response Fund to enable Episcopal Relief & Development to support its partners' emergency relief efforts and on-the-ground assessment in the region. 


Episcopal Relief & Development Web StatementApril 25, 2015

A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, centered between the capital, Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara. At least 876 people are known to have died, and many more may be trapped under rubble.

According to reports, tremors were felt across the region, with further loss of life in India, Bangladesh and on Mount Everest, where an avalanche killed eight.

The Nepalese government has declared a state of emergency in the affected areas.

Mobile phones and other communications networks have been disrupted, hampering efforts to gain information from the area closest to the epicenter of the quake.

Damage is also reported at Kathmandu's airport, which may impact relief operations. 

"Rescuers are digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings in the capital trying to reach survivors," reports the BBC.

Episcopal Relief & Development urges prayers at this time for all those impacted, and for the search and rescue teams who are working to save lives.  Please also pray for the country of Nepal as it copes with the loss of life and destruction of homes, businesses and religious sites.

A Prayer for First Responders

Blessed are you, Lord, God of mercy, who through your Son gave us a marvelous example of charity and the great commandment of love for one another. Send down your blessings on these your servants, who so generously devote themselves to helping others. Grant them courage when they are afraid, wisdom when they must make quick decisions, strength when they are weary, and compassion in all their work. When the alarm sounds and they are called to aid both friend and stranger, let them faithfully serve you in their neighbor. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

— Adapted from the Book of Blessings, #587, by Diana Macalintal

To support disaster response where it is most needed, please donate to the Disaster Response Fund.



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