Nepal: Handicap International teams deploy immediately to support victims of second earthquake
Following the devastating earthquake on 25th April, a second major earthquake struck Nepal on the afternoon of 12th May. The epicentre of the latest quake was 42 miles west of the town of Namche Bazaar, close to Mount Everest. Nearly 2,000 people were injured as a result, and the numbers are rising. In total, over 20,000 people have been injured in the two earthquakes.
Rubble from the 2nd earthquake in Nepal. | © ADH /TIMM SCHAMBERGER
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Audrey Lecomte, the head of Handicap International’s emergency actions in Nepal described the scene: “The earthquake was disastrous and there was a lot of chaos; but people are well prepared now, and immediately did the right thing by going outside”.
Handicap International responded immediately to the second earthquake. As Audrey explains: “We deployed ten physiotherapists in hospitals in Kathmandu and two physiotherapists in a hospital in the countryside in Nuwakot, to support people injured in the new earthquake. Two teams were set up to assess the needs of people affected by the disaster in Kavre and Kirtipur.”
Follow-up care is vital
With health services already stretched to the limit, hospitals have been overwhelmed by this new wave of injured casualties. People injured in the first earthquake are being discharged, and it is vital that they receive follow up care. The continuing tremors and aftershocks have further complicated the situation, with many patients preferring to sleep outside.
Handicap International’s teams continue to work around the clock. In addition to our ongoing activities, this week saw the start of the distribution of 1,500 emergency kits, which include high-quality tents for families. With high winds and rains expected over the next few weeks, the tents will be vital.