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World Vision launches appeal for victims of Nepal earthquake

World Vision launches appeal for victims of Nepal earthquake

World Vision New Zealand has launched an emergency appeal for the Nepal Earthquake, and as the death toll rises the humanitarian agency fears for those in remote regions.

Despite being in a highly earthquake prone region, many villages and cities in Nepal are simply not prepared for earthquakes of this magnitude, says Matt Darvas, a World Vision employee based in Nepal:

“Villages in the areas affected near the epicentre are literally perched on the sides of large mountain faces and are made from simple stone and rock construction. Many of these villages are only accessible by 4WD and then foot, with some villages hours and even entire days walks away from main roads at the best of times. It will likely be helicopter access only for these remote villages.”

Reports of damage are starting to come in from these areas.

“Villages like this are routinely affected by landslides and it’s not uncommon for entire villages of up to 1000 people to be completely ‘buried’ by rock falls. We are slowly hearing reports that this may have been the case in villages in the Kaski and Gorkha regions,” says Darvas.

“Delivery medical assistance will also be a challenge. Health posts are often rudimentary in the village districts with limited services, and are not even always staffed by a registered doctor. Some villages rely on being able to access the health posts of surrounding villages. If they are ‘cut off’, it’s possible that entire villages are without medical assistance right now.”

World Vision is on the ground in Nepal, and are beginning to assess the damage caused by the earthquake, so they can respond to the needs of affected people. The agency plan to reach 50,000 people.

As with most earthquake-related disasters, World Vision anticipates that the most immediate needs will be potable water, food, household supplies, temporary shelter and protection for children.

Disaster management experts from World Vision’s operations around the region – including in neighbouring India and Bangladesh - are on standby to provide relief assistance to the Nepal response.

World Vision New Zealand CEO Chris Clarke is calling on New Zealanders to respond generously. “New Zealanders have strong ties to the people of Nepal, through Sir Edmond Hillary and other Kiwi mountaineers. It’s heart-breaking to see the devastation wrecked by yesterday’s earthquake. World Vision has worked in Nepal for many years, and we are already beginning to respond to those affected by the earthquake.”

Donations to World Vision’s Nepal Earthquake appeal can be made at www.worldvision.org.nz

ends

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