Nepal Earthquake: View from the ground

The following is a transcript from Santosh Sharma, CARE’s Emergency response coordinator in Nepal the morning of April 26:

Right now, almost all the people in the Kathmandu Valley are outside their house because we’re still experiencing aftershocks – two of them were more than magnitude 5.

People are afraid to go inside their homes. To deal with this, local people are mobilizing their own resources and are forming temporary shelters in the local areas around their house. Many people have gathered their cooking stoves and gas cylinders and are cooking outside their home. Some of them have been using dry foods – rice and noodles.

I am seeing women, mothers, children and sick people, they have been suffering a lot. They were out of their homes for the entire night, living under the sky in the open. And the weather here in Kathmandu is quite chilly.

Because of the aftershocks, they are fearing even more. There is no electricity, and soon there will be a scarcity of water. Even now, people have been mobilizing their resources together, but there will soon be problems with food, water and other problems.

Shelter is an immediate need. Almost 90 per cent of people are outside of their home.

Health treatment is another big need. It’s being reported that more than 40,000 people are getting treatment in hospital, but there is no room inside the hospitals. Many are getting treated in the compound of the hospital. So medical supplies are another urgent need.

Then comes water. Because of not having electricity, water will also become an issue.

Then comes the food supply. All of the particularly vulnerable – children, breastfeeding mothers, people with chronic diseases – they have been suffering a lot so it’s essential to get help to these people.

CARE staff are with their families, living in different parts of the Kathmandu Valley. We have established contact with CARE International and we have many staff coming in by tomorrow to support.

We are getting information from CARE colleagues living in different parts of the country, and we’re sharing this with the Government.

Learn more about CARE’s response to the earthquakes in Nepal and help us save lives.