Diary on earthquake in Nepal 2015
May 10, 2015
Overview of the past couple days. The trucks with earthquake aid goods started out on on May 2, 2015 and went to Benigat VDC Dhading region, to give help in two different villages. The first stop was at the village Dhalit. According to the local system these villagers are considered "untouchable". Which means they are settled down at the very bottom of society. The land they live on is leased and they have to give part of their harvest to the landowner. The earthquake destroyed practically the whole village. The people are getting together and helping each other out. They build little huts with corrugated sheets, which they bring out of their homes. Others are staying in the sheds with their livestock.
The second village, where our helpers went, was Chepang. These people are semi-nomads. They settled down not long ago. This special village is about a three-hour-hike away. Through the crisis the people show a great deal of solidarity with each other. They are holding together, helping each other in every way possible. They got everything out of their homes in order to be able to continue the field work.
On the first day our team went through the villages to find out, what was needed most. On the second day they along with a local chief distributed the goods to different families. On the third day our team went to the nearby villages to coordinate the distribution of aid goods there. In one of these villages, the people had a strong desire to express their love and gratitude. They collected vegetables from their fields and offered them to our team. At first, our helpers refused to take the gifts, but they failed. At last one of the helpers came up with the idea to take the veggies and give them to needy people in the next village. The villagers thought this was a good idea, and agreed. This way one village could help the other out. In both villages the goods were very much appreciated. It was a huge encouragement for the villagers to see, that someone cared about them. This concern for the people was revealed not only by the distribution of relief supplies but also by the way our team expressed concern for them. The effort we put into getting the packages packed and brought into the houses expressed our interest in those people. Their reaction showed clearly, that the psychological help cannot be ignored, its just as vital as distributing supply goods.
May 6, 2015 - 6 pm
Today we were packing up supply goods again. Tomorrow morning we will be able to bring 500 packages with food- and hygiene supplies to the airport in Pokhara. From there they will be via helicopter brought to remote villages in Ghorka. Meanwhile we will be packing another 500 packages. Our volunteers work really hard. They want to give as much help as possible to the needy. We are still working on our short- and longterm support plan. We need a lot of wisdom. Its not an easy process. Its important to get a good data accquisition and coordination, in order to give the right people the right help. The external medical teams, who came in right after the earthquake are going back to their original working locations. Our own teams of doctors are waiting for an invitation to go to Dhading. At the same time our hospital is getting ready to take in more patients with spinal cord injuries, since the local hospitals are totally overcrowded.
May 4, 2015 - 11:20 am
Thursday and Friday we had 4 trucks loaded with about 30 tonnes of supply goods and distributed those in the region of Dhading. Two more trucks were added over the weekend. Very soon truck number 7 and 8 again with about 30 tonnes of supplies will be heading out to Dhading - to the villages who havent gotten any help yet. The trucks hold tents, blankets and matrasses along with emergency aid supplies like rice, lentils, salt and noodles. We also were able to pack up some hygiene-packages with rasers, toothbrush- and paste, soaps and special packages for babies. For many days now we have dozens of young people from different communties helping us pack the bags. This is a real encouragement for us.
May 3, 2015 - 4:40 pm
we tried to get some rest yesterday, thats why there were no new articles added. Our trucks came back empty. They had started out on April 30 in Pokhara. Yet due to a minor accident and some other problems along the way, they reached Ahading Besi (capital of Dhading region) only in the evening. The local government prompted our team to unload our trucks right there, in Dhading Besi. For different reasons this took a long time and our helpers were forced to spend the night there. Thankfully sleeping bags had been taken along, just in case. The team spend the night outdoors. The next morning three of the trucks were finally unloaded. The government is slowly starting to show some trust in our partner organisation here. So we were able to bring the rest of the supply goods in the other trucks in a different part of the region, which ended up being an adventure in itself. Unfortunately we didn`t get any pictures... When finally all the trucks were empty, our team arrived here in Pokhara early morning of the next day, really exhausted.
May 1, 2015 - 9:30 am.
another truck went on his way this morning. During the day we plan to have 5 more trucks leave our station. We want to deliver more mattrasses, tents and blankets into the emergency regions. Chlorine is needed for water purification. Medical care is taken care of. Yet we still get callings like: "We need tents, tents.... and again tents..." Blankets and tents; tarpaulins in all sizes have become very short in Pokhara, Butwal, Chitwan and Nepalgunj. Our partnering organisation is trying to get non-food supplies from India. Unfortunately in Delhi it also has become a scarcity. One villagers, who is tied to a wheelchair, shares with us the following: "My house is completely ruined, yet I am very happy. I was at home by myself, but since I have a ramp at my house, which you (our partner organisation) have build, I was able to leave the house and I am alive".
April 30, 2015 - 9:50 pm
at least it is already late in Nepal! The first three trucks arrived in the region of Dhading. This time we were able to deliver about 12,5 tonnes of groceries, 1300 blankets, 200 tents (tarpaulins with ropes) and 500 sleeping mats and present them to 500 households in Dhading. The same amount of goods will be send off tomorrow. Unfortunately the needs are much greater then this. The local government officials informed us, that in the Dhading region are over 70.000 households in great need. 20.000 houses are completely destroyed, 50.000 are badly damaged. Around 10.000 tents are needed. The problem is, that blankets and tents/tarpaulins in all different sizes are all out of stock in Pokhara, as well as in Butwal, Chitwan, Nepalgunj, even in Delhi. We are very grateful for dozens of volunteers, who help out in many ways so the workload is manageable. The schools are closed and the students are helping to alliviate the needs. Without the volunteers help we wouldnt have been able to load all the trucks. Another team went around to different local hospitals to find out about their needs. The hospitals seem to manage their work real well. Even helicopters for evacuating patients out of remote areas seem to be plenty available.
April 30, 2015 - 6:30 am
Here we will give you a brief overview on what has been packed up last night: 7500 kg rice, 1000 kg lentils, 500 kg salt, 500 boxes of noodles, 500 litres of cooking oil, 1500 soap bars, 1500 games, 1000 boxes of candles, 500 mattrasses, 200 tents and roaps, 1300 blankets. The trucks left this morning. One of our Provide co-workers is part of the team and writes the following: "We are a team of 6 and are on our way to Dhading. Dhading lies more to the east, behind Gorkha and Lamjung, toward Kathmandu. It takes about 3 to 5 hours by car to get there."
We just got news, one of the trucks had an accident, thankfully no one got hurt. We need protection, the roads are in bad shape, the rain sets in and we all are extremely exhausted... Today we were contacted by an helicopter organization, they have an helicopter positioned in Malaysia and would be willing to bring it over to Nepal. We are trying to find out if our partnering org would be able to manage that. It would be an excellent help to have our own helicopter. At this time Nepal only holds about 20 helicopters - all of them are overbooked with the huge work load.
April 29, 2015 - 4:30 pm
Today we all worked very hard, in order to get the most needed materials for the needy regions. Because food and shelter is very much needed for all eartquake victims and its not available. We tried to get as many goods as possible from the local market, like plastic sheets, blankets, food, drinking water, etc. In Pokhara many people helped us to sort, pack and load into the trucks the items we had purchased. We are grateful for every help. These goods will be via truck taken to Dhading region tomorrow morning. Some packages were delivered by helicopter. The doctors, who were in the remote villages of Gorkha told us, that entire villages are trying to reach the cities on foot. So it could be that large numbers of refugees will be arriving in the cities during the next couple of days.
April, 29 2015 - 12:30 am.
Our partnering organization is packing up some bags of first-aid-goods, that will be dropped by helicopter over remote areas in Gorkha. We are organising another medical outreach in the Dading region (east of Gorkha). Right now it looks like our employee will be starting out with his team tomorrow morning. The rain has - at least in Pokhara - stopped for now. The helicopters are flying their rounds again.
April 29, 2015 - 8:30 am
Yesterday evening the medical team safely returned back. The first impression our team had, has been confirmed: the main problem right now are the lack of food, blankets and tents. Since yesterday we have long and strong rain falls again. This leads to new landslides. The temperatures have dropped emensely in the mountain region. News reached us, that yet another village has been burried under the landslide and there are about 250 dead (there was no official confirmation of this data yet). Two of our doctor were brought via an army helicopter to a remote village in the mountains yesterday and are now not able to return, as the footpath has been damaged as well. Yet they confirmed, that medical help is not the main problem now, as there are not as many dead and injured, as originally presumed.
In Pokhara the rain has stopped and the army helicopters are flying patients out again. Together with our local team partners here in Pokhara, we have bought food and other needed items for about 2000 homes. Today we along with our partnering organization will be bringing these goods to the airport in Pokhara and hope to fly them out into the disctricts. Other aid supplies will be delivered by trucks. We continue to ask for wisdom and clarity, how best to help the needy. Its pouring again.
May 05, 2015 - 10:45 am
One of our coworkers at the epicenter states: It has been pouring for hours now here in the earthquake region, the temperatures have dropped severely. The pictures from remote villages near the epicenter are staggering. Hundrets of people are standing in the rain without any kind of shelter. Only debris are left from their houses. However it has been confirmed, that there are less victims, as initially presumed. Our doctors are still keeping busy. The main struggle during the next couple of days will be to bring food, blankets and tents out to the affected areas as quick as possible. We, still in Pokhara, try to organize it from here. Our survey team will probably arrive back tonight or tomorrow morning and start planning the next trips.
A picture from staying outdoors overnight.
Our team is spending the night outdoors.
April, 28 2015 - 08:30 am
We had a good night. There were a couple aftershakes, but mild ones. The night was quiet and the temperatures were ok to spend the night outdoors. The villages our team went to, didnt have too many dead or injured. Yet there is lots of damage done, most of the houses and infrastructure are destroyed or damaged. The longterm consequences are huge. One of our co-workers was told by a villager, that most of their 1100 houses are destroyed and over 2000 people are spending the night outside. Right now its quite dry here. Soon the next monsum (rainy season) will start. This morning one of our co-workers along with two doctors went in an helicopter to remote villages, which so far have been cut off from the rest. Our hospital in Pokhara is getting ready to take in more patients for further treatment and rehabilitation.
April, 27 2015 - 7:00 pm
This morning we started out from Pokhara with a medical team. In one of the villages, east of Gorkha - real close to the epicenter - we took care of about 150 patients. Out of 40 houses only three were still in place there. The destruction is immense. This area we still could reach by trucks. Some of the remote villages are only accessible on foot. Patients with severe injuries already on Sunday were flewn out via helicopter to hospitals in Pokhara. A lot of blankets, building material for tents and groceries are needed.