Apr 25, 2015

Massive earthquake hits Nepal, parts of India

People free a man from the rubble of a destroyed building in Kathmandu after the 7.9 magnitude earthquake. Credit: EPA / NARENDRA SHRESTHA.

A powerful earthquake has rocked Nepal. Over 950 people have died, with many more feared trapped under rubble. The death toll is expected to rise.

This is one of the worst earthquake in Nepal since 1934. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced but access constraints have so far prevented an assessment of the combined number of displaced.

Oxfam's team in Nepal are assessing humanitarian need following the devastating earthquake.

In addition a team of technical experts are preparing to fly from the UK with supplies to provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food supplies.

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Cecilia Keizer, Oxfam country director in Nepal said:

"Communication is currently very difficult. Telephone lines are down and the electricity has been cut off making charging mobile phones difficult, The water is also cut off. The number of people killed is continuing to rise. Many of the old houses have been destroyed and at least one large apartment block has come down in Kathmandu. Given the closeness to the epicentre Pokhara must also be badly affected. Oxfam is preparing to help provide clean water and food. People are gathered in their thousands in open spaces and are scared as there have been several aftershocks."

Parts of North and East India also partially hit

The states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have also suffered from the brunt of the devastating Nepal earthquake. 

However, the incidents in India are scattered and of a much lesser scale, even though the tremors were felt across a large area of North and East India.

34 people died in these states with reports of more fatalities and damage to property from the state coming in consistently.

The states governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have announced an ex-gratia of over Rs. five lakhs ($8000) each to the families of those who have lost their  lives in the earthquake. 

Five teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been dispatched to Bihar and UP for search and rescue operations.  

The Indian Prime Minister called for an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation.

The Indian government have also sent disaster relief teams to Nepal to assist in rescue operations.

 

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