Survivors of the second major earthquake to hit Nepal in less than three weeks have been left reeling after already damaged buildings collapsed around them, with reports of ongoing aftershocks and more than 40 further casualties increasing the troubled country’s heartache.
Cecilia Keizer, Oxfam’s Country Director in Nepal said the 7.3 magnitude earthquake, which followed a 7.9 magnitude quake on April 25, hit areas where Oxfam was already responding to meet urgent humanitarian needs.
“This is a double disaster leaving many of the survivors of the first earthquake shocked and fearful of further tremors,” Ms Keizer said.
“Our teams in the quake areas reported that buildings collapsed and landslides have blocked the roads. They too were very shaken but immediately got back to work. Whilst we don’t yet know the full extent of this second major earthquake, we do know that the people of Nepal will need much more support to help them put their lives back together.”
Oxfam currently has over 100 staff and volunteers working in seven districts in the country on the humanitarian response and all are safe.
Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Helen Szoke said the second earthquake increased the stakes for the emergency response significantly.
“It was already a race against time to reach people before the monsoon season arrives at the beginning of June. It’s now more vital than ever for us to be able to reach as many people as possible,” Dr Szoke said.
Oxfam is helping over 60,000 people over seven districts in Nepal, delivering clean water, emergency toilets, shelter, food assistance and hygiene kits. Reaching communities in the country’s rural districts has been challenging and initial reports suggest fresh landslides have cut off some areas.
To donate to Oxfam’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal, go to www.oxfam.org.au or phone 1800 034 034.
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