Red Cross teams in Nepal are continuing to provide life-saving assistance to those affected by a second earthquake that struck on May 12. Many of the individuals in need were already struggling to cope after an earthquake shook the region on April 25.
At the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) field hospital located high up in the mountains in Dhunche, the team witnessed a dramatic landslide
when a nearby hillside collapsed into the valley below.
“The combination of rains and aftershocks now makes our job even more challenging as the roads become highly perilous,” explains Martin Faller, head of operations for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
in Asia Pacific. “[This] earthquake has dealt a double blow to many of the same people who were hit by the 25 April quake. More people will now be in need of emergency shelter but they will also need support dealing with the trauma they have experienced. People are very scared.”
Prior to the May 12 earthquake, the Canadian Red Cross was providing health services in two remote locations – with 17 members in Dhunche and a team of nine in Khukondole. However, the team in Khukondole has been evacuated until further notice due to road closures that made it difficult and unsafe to reach patients or for patients to reach the unit. The Canadian Red Cross is considering returning in a mobile configuration.
In Khukondole, a baby was safely delivered by CRC Emergency Red Cross Emergency Response Unit delegate Lynn Henderson just nine hours after the May 12 quake.
The Dhunche field hospital
with an operating theatre and a medical clinic was mostly unaffected by the second earthquake and continues to treat patents.
To date, over 480 patients have been treated within the hospital. Ailments treated by Canadian Red Cross medical staff include pneumonia, infections, diarrhea, broken bones and severe cuts.
The IFRC, the International Committee of the Red Cross
and 26 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies now have teams in Nepal working in support of Nepal Red Cross and aid flights with emergency relief and medical materials are being mobilized every day.
Canadians are encouraged to support people impacted by this disaster by making a donation to the Canadian Red Cross Nepal Region Earthquake Fund
Photos: Dawn Anderson, Canadian Red Cross