A 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal today roughly two weeks after the last earthquake shook the impoverished nation that took the lives of 8,000 people.
Aid workers and NGOs are already in Nepal providing assistance and supplies are in the pipeline and have reached Kathmandu for distribution to remote areas. In sharp contrast to last month’s earthquake at least 48 people have been confirmed dead and more than 1,000 injured by the quake as opposed to an immediate count of thousands during the last disaster. The epicenter of today’s earthquake occurred closer to the Chinese border. Reports said aftershocks could be felt as far away as India where 17 people have died.
Direct Relief staff in Nepal were assembling tents to augment a birthing clinic that was damaged in last month’s tragic earthquake when the second earthquake hit today. They reported that it visibly shook the mountains around them and brought down nearby buildings. Within the hour, Direct Relief reports people with injuries filled the clinic and two women went into premature labor. One of the women was experiencing serious complications, so staff raced through traffic to a referral hospital on the other side of town where she could receive more advanced care.
“This is proof that this isn’t over and still unfolding,” said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe in a video sent directly from Nepal today after the latest earthquake.
Sanjana Shrestha from Save the Children Nepal said: “The effect of this latest earthquake is deeply felt, and is setting people back psychologically, as we were all trying to creep back to some sort of normal life. Children and families in the worst affected areas are understandably terrified, with many sleeping outside tonight for fear of falling debris from buildings or further aftershocks.
In an unfortunate twist to the aid efforts a U.S. Marine helicopter manned by eight U.S. Marines and two Nepalese Army soldiers has been confirmed missing. While the military cannot confirm if it has crashed they are hoping the soldiers landed safely and communications simply went out.
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Photos: Direct Relief