Nepal: Worst earthquake in over 80 years leaves at least 1000 dead
A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on 25 April, with the epicenter in Lamjung District (north-west) of Kathmandu. At present the death toll stands at over 1,000 dead but observers believe it is likely to increase.
"The reports of the devastation are still coming in and the numbers of people killed, injured and affected by this earthquake continue to rise", said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement today. "It is clear that very many lives have been lost. There has also been significant damage to Nepal’s irreplaceable cultural heritage".
Initial government reports confirm that 30 out of 75 districts in the country have been affected in the Western and Central Regions, including Kathmandu Valley districts. This includes mountain and hilly areas, in areas where rural populations are dispersed, as well as some very densely populated districts and Nepal’s two largest cities – greater Kathmandu and Pokhara.
The worst affected districts include Sindulpalchowk, Kavre, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Dolakha in the CR and Kaski, Gorkha, Lamjung in the western region.
The Impacts in Kathmandu valley include collapsed historic buildings in the centre, but less overall damage and collapse of buildings than had been fired. In Kathmandu Valley, hospitals are overcrowded and running short on emergency supplies, and morgues are running out of space. Doctors from BIR hospital are reported to be treating people in the streets.
The Government has requested international assistance, particularly for the most critical humanitarian needs of the population. This includes:
- Search and Rescue capacity;
- Medical teams, supplies and tenting for hospitals, and dead-body bags;
- Heavy equipment for rubble removal;
- Helicopters for transport and access to blocked areas.
OCHA is deploying an UNDAC (UN Disaster and Assessment Coordination) team to provide immediate assistance with emergency response activities.