Red Cross Responding to 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake in Nepal

The global Red Cross network continues to scale up its response in Nepal as many more areas outside of Kathmandu become accessible. The American Red Cross has committed $1 million, deployed a total of 9 disaster specialists and is providing relief supplies to support the response.  The American Red Cross continues to work closely with its global Red Cross partners to support the Nepal Red Cross response to this catastrophic disaster. Our continued activities will focus on the following:


• Assessments and Coordination:  The American Red Cross has deployed two disaster specialists from a regional office in Bangkok to support the response. 
An American Red Cross information management specialist has also deployed to support overall Red Cross coordination.

• Relief/Cash Transfer:  The American Red Cross has made relief supplies available to the operation and is deploying three
disaster specialists as part of a Red Cross team working to conduct damage assessments, identify key needs and support relief activities. 

• IT/Telecommunications: The American Red Cross has deployed two IT/Telecommunications specialists and a voice & data satellite to support the Red Cross response. 

• Information Management/Geographic Information Systems (GIS): In addition to deploying an information management specialist, the American Red Cross is also providing remote information management and mapping support to the response. The American Red Cross has also deployed a media specialist to Geneva to support the overall Red Cross response.

• Restoring Family Links: American Red Cross chapters are working with global Red Cross partners to reconnect family members separated by the earthquake. For more information on family linking, please visit the Nepal Earthquake Restoring Family Links page


    The Situation 

    The earthquake affected up to 8 million people, resulting in more than 5,500 deaths and injuring more than 11,100 people.  The earthquake most severely affected the Western and Central regions of Nepal, and also caused deaths and damage in parts of Bangladesh, China and India.  Casualty figures are expected to rise as relief actors continue to gain access to remote areas. The earthquake displaced an estimated 2.8 million people, many of whom are currently staying outdoors in cold, wet conditions due to both home damage and fears of continued aftershocks. Preliminary assessments indicate approximately 130,000 homes are destroyed and more than 85,000 homes damaged.  Approximately 24,000 people currently staying in camps in the Kathmandu Valley, with additional reports of displaced people leaving the valley to stay with family in less-affected areas.  The earthquake also damaged schools and health facilities, limited access to water and sanitation, resulted in the loss of livestock, disrupted work and livelihoods, and left an estimated 3.5 million people in need of food assistance. More than 70% of the population relies on agriculture production for food.

    Relief efforts are under way and continue to increase and broaden in the coming days as access to many areas improves. More than 16,800 Nepali police and army personnel are engaged in rescue activates, joined by more than 50 international search-and-rescue and medical teams. In addition to ongoing search and rescue activities, humanitarian partners have started distributing relief supplies, including shelter materials, hygiene kits, blankets and health care supplies. The Government of Nepal has identified shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, health care provision and food as key priorities for the response. Access continues to be a significant challenge, with many affected areas only accessible on foot.  Available logistical capacity remains limited, posing challenges getting supplies into Nepal as well as transporting and storing them in country.  Additional disaster risks are also complicating response operations; many earthquake-affected areas are at continued risk of landslides and aftershocks, and the local weather bureau has forecasted additional rain in the coming days.

    The Nepal Red Cross has mobilized staff and volunteers to conduct assessments as well as provide first aid and search and rescue support in 12 of the most affected districts.  The Nepal Red Cross have distributed nearly 10,000 tarps, more than 1,000 blankets and nearly 190,000 water purification tablets.  The Global Red Cross response is focused on emergency health, shelter, livelihoods, reconnecting families, providing safe and dignified burials and supporting Nepal Red Cross preparedness and response capacity. Additional Red Cross teams from around the world are deploying specialists with expertise in healthcare, logistics, IT/Telecommunications, assessment and coordination and emergency relief. 

    International Services

    Koral Industries is helping the victims of countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to American Red Cross International Services, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need.


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