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Race to Get Relief Supplies to Area Hit by New Nepal Earthquake

12 May 2015 -Christian Aid emergency workers in Nepal are trying with partner organisations to get relief through this morning to the area worst hit by today’s earthquake.

The earthquake struck at about 13:00 local time. The US Geological Survey said it measured 7.4 on the Richter scale, compared to the April 26 earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.8.

The epicentre of today’s earthquake was the town of Namche Bazaar in eastern Nepal, the last settlement before Everest basecamp.

Christian Aid emergency programme officer Yeeshu Shukla, already in Nepal to help co-ordinate relief efforts after the first earthquake, was in the Sindhupalchowk region some 40 miles away when the building he was in began shaking.

“For a moment, I felt that the building I was in would come down. We rushed out. Everyone was out on the street, some of them panicking, with mothers screaming, looking for their children. There were four or five severe after-shocks and some buildings collapsed.

“Travelling later towards Kathmandu the roads were lined with people too scared to re-enter buildings, with heaps of rubble where some had structures had collapsed.

“Now the race is to get relief through to the worst hit areas – clothing and other essentials. There is a shortage of drivers, however, many of whom have returned to their homes to be with their families.”

Nick Guttmann, Christian Aid’s Head of Humanitarian had just arrived in the country to monitor the progress of Christian Aid’s initial relief efforts.

He was visiting a partner agency in Kathmandu before visiting a distribution point when a slight tremor ran through the building. Everyone stood up, and then everything began moving.

“Outside, the ground looked like it was rippling,” he said. “We didn’t know where to go and stayed under some corrugated iron.”

An hour after the earthquake, he said, “people were walking round the streets, not knowing what to do, I heard one woman ask ‘What is happening to Nepal’.”

Since the first earthquake struck, Christian Aid has worked through partner organisations in Nepal distributing blankets, tarpaulins, food, water purification equipment and water purification tablets to communities struggling to rebuild their lives.

In addition to €50,000 received from Irish Aid, Christian Aid Ireland is grateful to the general public and to the churches in Ireland for the Nepal Earthquake appeals launched on our behalf.

For more information please contact:

Florence Mutesasira in Dublin (01) 406 5535 or 086 160 9405 or fmutesasira@christian-aid.org  

Adrian Horsman in Belfast on +44 (0)28 906 99 123, +44 (0) 7710 764 093 (mobile) or email ahorsman@christian-aid.org.

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, and sustainably. Our strategy document ‘From Inspiration to Impact’ outlines how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org 4. Follow Christian Aid Ireland on Twitter: twitter.com/christianaidirl

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit www.christianaid.ie


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