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Monday, 27 April 2015 14:44

Caritas Australia responds with rescue and relief in Nepal

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Caritas staff NepalCaritas Australia, the international aid and development agency of the Catholic Church, has three staff members currently in Kathmandu who are working with Caritas Nepal in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. The magnitude 7.9 earthquake has paralysed Kathmandu, Pokhara and surrounding areas in Nepal and northern India, with reports of over 3,000 dead.

In a media release from Caritas Australia, the Program Coordinator of Nepal, Eleanor Trinchera, reports from Kathmandu, “I have never seen so much devastation. While the streets are rife with activity and chaos as people try to find loved ones and friends, the city is paralysed with destroyed buildings, blocked roads, intermittent power and rolling aftershocks.”

“We are working with our Caritas Nepal team to coordinate rescue efforts and our immediate emergency response.”
Caritas Australia, part of the second largest humanitarian network in the world, has worked in Nepal for decades.

Caritas Nepal Director, Fr Pius Perumana SJ, said from Kathmandu: "It was the worst earthquake I have ever experienced in my life. The aftershocks are still strong."

He said that there has been lots of physical damage, electricity has been down making communications difficult and roads are blocked. "Lots of houses have fallen down and there are lots with cracks. Thank God it was during the day and on a holiday as many people were outside when the quake happened."

Assessments are coming in and Caritas teams in country are organising the response. "Rescue is the still the main priority at the moment. Lots of people have lost their homes and are out on the street or in open spaces, so we will be looking to provide them with food and temporary shelter," said Fr Pius.

Donate to Caritas Australia’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal to respond to this disaster at http://www.caritas.org.au/donate/ or by phoning 1800 024 413.

Read the media release from Caritas Australia "Nepal devastated by 7.9 magnitude earthquake."