Nepal: Order of Malta sends earthquake assessment team Order of Malta - Permanent Observer Mission

26/04/2015

Nepal: Order of Malta sends earthquake assessment team

Earthquake in Nepal: Worldwide Relief Agency of the Order of Malta sends an assessment team
The first aid workers from Malteser International, the Worldwide Relief Agency of the Order of Malta, are on their way to Nepal. An assessment team was dispatched to the region on Sunday morning. On the scene, they will be able to form an overview of the situation and begin setting in motion the first emergency relief measures. The Nepalese government has declared a state of emergency and called for international assistance.

“The people in Nepal need urgent help. Medical infrastructure on the ground has been overwhelmed: the hospitals are overflowing and they need medications and dressings. Some people are digging in the rubble with their bare hands. Communication on the ground is difficult and mobile phones are barely functioning,” says Oliver Hochedez, Malteser International’s Emergency Relief Coordinator. As of yet, there is almost no information on the effects of the tremor from outside of the capital.

By Sunday morning, the official death toll from Nepalese authorities was more than 2,000. This figure is expected to rise even further. A large aftershock of magnitude 6.7 was reported in the region on Sunday at around 7am UTC.

The earthquake which struck Nepal on Saturday morning was of magnitude 7.8 and was also felt in the surrounding countries of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The epicentre of the tremor was around 80 km distant from the capital city Kathmandu.

Malteser International has had ongoing projects in Nepal since September 2012.

 

Updated: 29 April 2015

Earthquake in Nepal: “People are heavily traumatised”
Malteser International sends further medical experts to the crisis region

Cologne/Kathmandu: Malteser International is increasing their complement of medical personnel in earthquake-hit Nepal. On Tuesday, the emergency relief experts Dr. Marie Theres Benner and Arno Coerver reached the Nepalese capital. A further team of experienced relief workers consisting of a doctor, a first aid assistant and a paramedic will assemble in Kathmandu at the weekend.

Malteser International is currently assessing the situation in regions outside of the capital. Dr. Marie Theres Benner and Arno Coerver – an expert in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)  –  are initiating aid measures in Gorkha, the region at the epicentre of the earthquake, and in the Dhulikhel district, which was also heavily affected.

Meanwhile, a specialist in emergency medicine from the Malteser International assessment team is treating patients at the German embassy and at the airport in Kathmandu – also taking care of those who have been psychologically affected by the disaster. He reports that “People are heavily traumatised. Some of them so much that they can’t even tell you their name.”

In Kathmandu, the situation remains tense as access and the delivery of aid continue to be limited by the small and damaged airport.

Malteser International has been working in Nepal since September 2012 on projects to reduce the risk of damage from catastrophic flooding, as well as improve the provision of basic water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in the country.

 

Further information about the Order’s intervention activities in Nepal:  www.malteser-international.org