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Another Earthquake Hits Nepal

Children play at a Child-Friendly Space in Kathmandu. We plan to set up six Child-Friendly Spaces and temporary learning centers for children to play and study while their families are in transition. (©2015 World Vision/Alina Shrestha)

Children play at a Child-Friendly Space in Kathmandu. We plan to set up six Child-Friendly Spaces and temporary learning centers for children to play and study while their families are in transition. (©2015 World Vision/Alina Shrestha)

Today, a magnitude-7.3 quake struck in Nepal near Namche Bazar, where communities are already reeling from the 7.8 earthquake that struck on April 25, causing more than 7,500 deaths and widespread devastation. World Vision is on the ground, providing emergency aid and care to survivors of the first quake.

With a shallow depth of 19 kilometers (12 miles), it shook already-vulnerable structures, causing widespread panic as people in Kathmandu and nearby districts evacuated to open spaces. Reports of new deaths and injuries are being confirmed.

Some 8 million people have been affected by the first quake. According to UNICEF, 1.7 million children urgently need aid.

“We felt a very strong aftershock. I could see in the eyes of the people who experienced the first quake — they were just terrified,” said Jimmy Nadapdap, World Vision Nepal earthquake response manager.

“We all managed to get outside to safety. We are now trying to locate our staff; many are in the field working on our relief operations today. It is a reminder of how challenging this situation is for us all.”

Meanwhile, staff working at the Kathmandu operations center felt the quake and safely evacuated outside. World Vision teams are currently reorganizing, checking the safety of staff and people in relief staging areas where dispatched teams are assisting beneficiaries.

Sita Tamang whose house is completely damaged and is staying under tent is happy to get a blanket form World Vision. "I didn’t have one, but tonight I will use it," she said. World Vision distributed blankets in Changunarayan today, 1st May 2015 to people affected by the earthquake especially children. Many houses have been damaged leaving people homeless in the open in cold. Photo: Sunjuli Kunwar Singh/World Vision

Sita Tamang whose house is completely damaged and is staying under tent is happy to get a blanket from World Vision. Many houses have been damaged leaving people homeless in the open in cold. (©2015 World Vision/Sunjuli Kunwar Singh)

World Vision to aid 100,000 people
The initial phase of World Vision’s response to the April 25 quake will target 100,000 people in the worst-affected areas of Bhaktapur, Gorkha, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Lamjung. So far, our response has reached 30,000 people, supporting the urgent needs of families in the hardest-hit areas of Gorkha, Lamjung, Sindhuli, Sindhupalchowk, and Kathmandu valley.

World Vision has distributed supplies that were pre-positioned in Nepal, including more than 2,000 tarps, 600 blankets, and 400 corrugated roofing sheets.

The next round of distributions will depend on the arrival of relief supplies being airlifted in from Dubai. The shipments include 5,000 tarpaulins that are loaded and waiting to fly. But planes are having difficulty landing because the airport is highly congested and aftershocks continue.

Additional supplies are being airlifted from a regional warehouse and include hygiene kits, cooking kits, mosquito nets, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, buckets, and water purification tablets.

World Vision has sent a team to assess the damage in rural areas. In some of the remote areas, staff heading out for assessments are finding both roads and trails blocked by landslides, making access extremely difficult.

‘The clock is ticking’
A lack of access to toilets and clean water supply means affected residents, especially in hard-to-reach places, face higher risk in the coming weeks of waterborne diseases like cholera. And more than 1.4 million people are in need of food assistance.

“We know the clock is ticking for those impacted by the earthquake in some of the most remote areas; aid is a matter of life or death for many at this point,” says Phillip Ewert, operations director for World Vision in Nepal. “Our staff — as part of the humanitarian effort — are pushing to deploy aid under extreme conditions, well aware of that urgency.”

World Vision is working with the government and partners to assess the situation and respond to the needs of children and their communities. We work with 43 local partner aid organizations in our operating districts.

A Child-Friendly Space  set up in a government camp in Kathmandu by World Vision. (@2015 World Vision/Alina Shrestha)

A Child-Friendly Space set up in a government camp in Kathmandu by World Vision. (©2015 World Vision/Alina Shrestha)

A place for children to recover from trauma
World Vision has set up 10 Child-Friendly Spaces and temporary learning centers to provide a safe space for children to play and study while their families are in transition.

“Many children lost everything they knew when the earthquake struck,” says Arpanah Rongong, World Vision’s child protection specialist in Nepal.

Child-Friendly Spaces offer a place for children to start coming to terms with the loss they have experienced. “Young people often begin expressing their emotions through artwork, which helps them start to make sense of the devastation around them,” Rongong explains.

Forty-four youth volunteers drawn from churches and other community groups participated in training to staff the Child-Friendly Spaces.

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