NEPAL EARTHQUAKE UPDATE at 20:11 on Tuesday 28th April – with updated items listed first
Today Doug was able, for the first time since the earthquake struck, to speak on the phone with CAN’s Project Manager Murari Gautam. We also heard via Bhai Tamang from our Senior Nurse Kalpana and via Facebook from Laxman Issac Thapa of the CAN Kathmandu office. We were pleased to hear from Murari that all of CAN’s 59 staff are uninjured, but sadly many of their homes have been damaged and that many villages CAN supports have all been affected – details below
CAN staff and office in Kathmandu:Thankfully Murari Gautam and the office staff are all OK. Unfortunately however, Murari’s home has totally collapsed following the quake. Although there has been some damage to the building in which the CAN office resides, the CAN office is not damaged. The lack of electricity and damage to communications equipment means we have not yet been possible to establish e-mail contact with our Kathmandu staff, but limited mobile phone contact is now possible.
Helambu area: This area has been badly affected by the earthquake. Kutumsang and Milerepa Health Post have both been badly damaged. The village of Melamchigaun has suffered much damage – a private helicopter visited the village and evacuated four local casualties. Reports from UK volunteer teacher Corin Hardcastle in Melamchiguan tell us that many buildings have been flattened to the ground and there has been two local casualties. There is still one child missing. CAN has a large school, school dormitories and a health post in Melamchigaun which have all been badly damaged. We have not yet managed to make contact with CAN Management Committee Chairman and Melamchi School Head Purna Gautam, but we understand he is OK.
Langtang: This area has been very badly hit by the earthquake and we have heard reports that there is much damage. We have heard that half of Langtang village itself has been destroyed and that 5 foreign tourists are reported dead. Sadly 130 deaths have been reported in Dunche.
Two eye witness accounts follow from Langtang:
Archeologist Hayley Saul who is a partner with CAN (and has worked on Stupa restoration projects with CAN in the Langtang) was working in the valley when the quake struck. Read her graphic description of how she tried to outrun the rockfall following the quake by clicking here.The Telegraph has just published an article about Hayley Saul and Emma Waterton being rescued from Langtang: click here to read the report.
Kathmandu Contemporay Arts Centre (KCAC) is one of CAN’s regular partners. One of KCAC’s artists was trekking in Langtang when the earthquake happened … click here to read the chilling report.
CAN has two school buildings in Langtang and we await any information about them.
North Gorkha area This very remote area is near the epicentre of the earthquake. Reports, including from Tej Tamang, tell us that Bihi Health Post is relatively undamaged and that Prok Health Post has lost its roof. The nurses at these Health Posts are all OK. Sama Health Post has been slightly damaged. Unfortunately we have as yet no information about our largest and best equipped Health Post in the area at LiHi.
Ghyamrang School and Health Post These have both suffered damage but are still useable.
Porter Rescue Shelters in the Everest area: We have spoken with Dr Nick Mason from IPPG (International Porters Protection Group) who are our partners in these projects. Machermo and Gokyo Lakes Porter Rescue Shelters have been slightly damaged, but we have not yet heard the situation at Gorak Shep Porter Rescue Shelter.
Machermo has damage to walls and doors and Gokyo slight damage to the roof.
We are however, very sad to report that the brother of Kancha Rai, our cook at Machermo, was one of the fatalities at the Everest Base Camp avalanche. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family.
Namgyal’s Lodge in the Machermo area has suffered extensive damage.
A report from a trekker in the Thame area to the west of Namche Bazaar in the Everest region, which has suffered much damage suggests that aid and help for local people is not yet forthcoming … “The villages of Thame and Upper Thame have been devastated. So far not one relief mission has arrived and all the homes are uninhabitable. It’s now cold, and raining. The local population desperately need better quality temporary shelters and much more help. So far at least 7 empty commercial helicopter flights have flown in to the Yeti Mountain Home luxury hotel to evacuate its customers but not one brought anything.”
Bahrabise School for Deaf Children: We understand that this school is thankfully undamaged.
Ghunsa Health Post and School and Lapcha School: We understand that there has been no serious damage in these areas.
Purano Duwar School, Walung Health Post and Bohde School: We have no information about these communities and projects at present.
CAN Trustee Ben Ayres: Ben, who is also the Director of the American based charity the dZi Foundation which operates in Nepal in a similar way to CAN, has been assisting at the ‘triage center’ in Lukla assessing the needs of casualties evacuated from Everest Base Camp following the avalanche. Doug spoke with Ben a few days ago as Ben returned to Kathmandu from Lukla airport in the Everest region.
CAN staff member Denise Prior:Denise has been visiting Nepal with Medex over the past month. We are pleased to report she has now arrived safely back in the UK. We hope to get a full ‘on the spot’ report from Denise asap.
Denise was visiting Durbar Square only 30 mins before the earthquake occurred and the historic buildings in the square collapsed. She gave us a graphic description of being thrown around her room in the Mundu Hotel as the earthquake struck and how, completely disorientated, she made her way to the volley ball court by the hotel, along with many others, for safety. Then followed after-shocks and more screams from the towns people all around.
How you can help:
There has been an incredible response from CAN supporters and those concerned for Nepal. CAN has already received many emails, phone calls and social media messages showing their support for people and a country close to their hearts.
The international aid agencies will be best placed to help with the larger scale needs of Nepal at this time, but CAN is of course well placed to assist the remote mountain communities it supports, which may be ‘overlooked’ by mainstream aid and support.
Please support the CAN communities, villages, schools, health posts, porter welfare projects and the CAN staff who provide these much needed services by donating to CAN’s ‘Earthquake Appeal’:
ONLINE with credit/debit cards via CAN’s JUST GIVING page – click here for details. (Just Giving will make a small admin charge, which we have no control over)
CHEQUE: Cheques payable to CAN and sent to our office: CAN, Stewart Hill Cottage, Hesket Newmarket, Wigton, Cumbria CA7 8HX Please mark the back of your cheque ‘Earthquake Appeal’
BANK TRANSFER: Direct bank payments can be made to CAN’s bank account. PLEASE reference your payment ‘Earthquake Appeal’
Bank: Nat West, 92 English Street, Carlisle, UK CA3 8NF
Account Name: Community Action Nepal
Sort Code: 60 04 30
Account no: 10059695
IBAN: GB89 NWBK 6004 3010 0596 95
Swift code / BIC NWBK GB 2L
100% of your donation will be used to directly help the Nepalese communities. (All our admin and office costs are met by other funds)
BY TELEPHONE with credit/debit cards: Unfortunately we are unable to take card donations by phone. Card machines work via the mobile phone network. The CAN office, in the Lake District mountains, does not have any mobile phone reception – so card machines do not work. Sorry.
GIFT AID: Tax payers can increase their donation by 25% by claiming Gift Aid: click here to download a Gift Aid form