Relaymedia

Samaritan's Purse Respond to Nepal Earthquake Which Left over 4,000 Dead: 'There Are a Lot of People Hurting'

( [email protected] ) Apr 27, 2015 12:45 PM EDT

Earthquake Devastation
(Photo : Reuters)
Relatives cry over a dead body of a victim after an earthquake struck Nepal, at Bir Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, 26 April 2015.

Christian humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse has deployed disaster response volunteers and supplies to Nepal in Jesus' name following Saturday's catastrophic 7.8-magnitude earthquake which left over 4,000 dead and another 6,500 severely injured.

BBC reports that the already shocking death toll is likely to rise as rescue teams continue to comb through rubble in search of survivors on Monday after Kathmandu, the city of Pokhara and rural areas in-between were hit by the nation's worst earthquake in over 80 years.

The quake, which hit in the middle of the day, also triggered a deadly avalanche that buried a part of the base camp for climbers bound for Mount Everest, killing at least 17 people, according to the New York Times.

At least 50 people were killed in neighboring India, mostly in eastern and northern parts, 17 in Tibet and at least two in Bangladesh. One aid worker told the Guardian that he feared that as many as 15,000 have been killed as fears grow for the fate of people living in remote villages.

In response, Samaritan's Purse has deployed a team of 16 disaster response experts who are working with local ministry partners in Nepal to "meet critical needs through shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, and other emergency supplies," according to the organization's website. The group will also send initial supplies for 15,000 households, and anticipate doing more as the response continues.

Patrick Seger, a Samaritan's Purse disaster response team member, described the horrific destruction, death, and need currently facing the region.

"There's a lot of hurting people here," Seger said. "I saw a number of needs out there, a number of dead people, a lot of structures had fallen. A lot of people lost their homes and lost their incomes. They're trying to figure out what they're going to do."

A senior official in Gorkha district, the location of the earthquake's epicentre, said that hundreds of thousands of people are now homeless, as over 70% of houses were destroyed in the earthquake. In describing the chaos occurring in the nearby Dhading district, a source told Reuters that "people were camped in the open, the hospital was overflowing, the power was off and shops were closed."

"The morgues are getting totally full," added Shankar Koirala, an official in the Prime Minister's Office who is dealing with the disposal of bodies.

"There are a lot of people sleeping out in the streets," explained Seger. "They are fearful of the buildings and don't want to sleep inside. They are sleeping in the rain because they don't have any other shelter."

The quake also destroyed several landmark monuments in Kathmandu, including the 200-foot Dharahara Tower, built in 1832 for the queen of Nepal, with a viewing balcony that had been open to visitors for the last 10 years. According to reports, at least 200 people were trapped inside when the earthquake hit.

In addition to the work of dozens of Christian relief groups, including Christian Aid, Convoy of Hope, and World Vision, the U.S. government has pledged an initial $1 million in humanitarian assistance to the devastated region.

"To the people in Nepal and the region affected by this tragedy we send our heartfelt sympathies," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. "The United States stands with you during this difficult time."

Meanwhile, Samaritan's Purse is asking Christians to continue to pray for those hit by the disaster as well as those responding to it. "Please pray for everyone affected by the earthquake, for those who have lost loved ones, and for families whose homes have been destroyed. Pray that our God will use Samaritan's Purse to convey the love of Christ," reads a statement on the organization's website.

Christian humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse has deployed disaster response volunteers and supplies to Nepal in Jesus' name following Saturday's catastrophic 7.8-magnitude earthquake which left over 4,000 dead and another 6,500 severely injured.

BBC reports that the already shocking death toll is likely to rise as rescue teams continue to comb through rubble in search of survivors on Monday after Kathmandu, the city of Pokhara and rural areas in-between were hit by the nation's worst earthquake in over 80 years.

The quake, which hit in the middle of the day, also triggered a deadly avalanche that buried a part of the base camp for climbers bound for Mount Everest, killing at least 17 people, according to the New York Times.

At least 50 people were killed in neighboring India, mostly in eastern and northern parts, 17 in Tibet and at least two in Bangladesh. One aid worker told the Guardian that he feared that as many as 15,000 have been killed as fears grow for the fate of people living in remote villages.

In response, Samaritan's Purse has deployed a team of 16 disaster response experts who are working with local ministry partners in Nepal to "meet critical needs through shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, and other emergency supplies," according to the organization's website. The group will also send initial supplies for 15,000 households, and anticipate doing more as the response continues.

Patrick Seger, a Samaritan's Purse disaster response team member, described the horrific destruction, death, and need currently facing the region.

"There's a lot of hurting people here," Seger said. "I saw a number of needs out there, a number of dead people, a lot of structures had fallen. A lot of people lost their homes and lost their incomes. They're trying to figure out what they're going to do."

A senior official in Gorkha district, the location of the earthquake's epicentre, said that hundreds of thousands of people are now homeless, as over 70% of houses were destroyed in the earthquake. In describing the chaos occurring in the nearby Dhading district, a source told Reuters that "people were camped in the open, the hospital was overflowing, the power was off and shops were closed."

"The morgues are getting totally full," added Shankar Koirala, an official in the Prime Minister's Office who is dealing with the disposal of bodies.

"There are a lot of people sleeping out in the streets," explained Seger. "They are fearful of the buildings and don't want to sleep inside. They are sleeping in the rain because they don't have any other shelter."

The quake also destroyed several landmark monuments in Kathmandu, including the 200-foot Dharahara Tower, built in 1832 for the queen of Nepal, with a viewing balcony that had been open to visitors for the last 10 years. According to reports, at least 200 people were trapped inside when the earthquake hit.

In addition to the work of dozens of Christian relief groups, including Christian Aid, Convoy of Hope, and World Vision, the U.S. government has pledged an initial $1 million in humanitarian assistance to the devastated region.

"To the people in Nepal and the region affected by this tragedy we send our heartfelt sympathies," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. "The United States stands with you during this difficult time."

Meanwhile, Samaritan's Purse is asking Christians to continue to pray for those hit by the disaster as well as those responding to it. "Please pray for everyone affected by the earthquake, for those who have lost loved ones, and for families whose homes have been destroyed. Pray that our God will use Samaritan's Purse to convey the love of Christ," reads a statement on the organization's website.