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New earthquake in Nepal devastates relief efforts

NEWS | Kaley Payne

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Another major earthquake has struck Nepal, just two weeks after more than 8,000 people were killed in the first quake.

The earthquake that struck overnight in Nepal was magnitude 7.3, compared with the 7.8 magnitude quake that occurred on 25 April. The quake hit east of Kathmandu in a rural area near Mount Everest, triggering landslides and aftershocks that are still being felt.

CNN has reported that almost 70 people have been reported dead and over a thousand injured in the latest quake.

World Vision Nepal’s Sunjuli Kunwar said residents first thought the quake was a strong aftershock. The country has experienced continuing tremors in the aftermath of the April 25 quake. Thousands of Nepalese people chose to sleep on the streets and under tarps for over a week after the first earthquake, too afraid that homes that were still standing would collapse due to continued aftershocks.

“What we thought was an aftershock striking us continued as the ground just kept on shaking. It got so strong I dashed out of the house to check on my son who was playing outside. A lot of people rushed to open spaces. Mobile phones lines were jammed. There was chaos everywhere,” said Mr Kunwar, describing what happened last night.

World Vision Australia continues to lead Australia’s relief efforts on the ground in Nepal after the April 25 quake. CEO Tim Costello says he was devastated by news of further quakes, as the country “struggles to get back on its feet after the April 25 disaster.”

“It’s reinforced the terror. I felt it just with earth tremors when I was there and it paralyses people… People are just traumatised,” Mr Costello told Eternity.

“[The new quake] has set back the aid efforts and certainly the phase we were hopefully moving to of rebuilding. So the relief effort is just to save life, with tarps and hygiene kits and food. The next step is to normalise life – particularly important for children – just to say we’ll get through this. All of that has been set back.”

The International Nepal Fellowship has said that the latest quake, while not as violent as April 25, has people very nervous again.

“Please do pray for those whose homes will have been destroyed – for the many houses that were damaged in the quakes of the last weeks this might have been the last straw.”

Bible Society of Nepal’s general secretary Tej Jirel says the latest quake has confused relief plans. “Please pray with us for God’s guidance.” The Nepal Bible Society ‘Bible House’ – a central location for distributing scriptures near Kathmandu has been further damaged and staff are searching for ways to help.

Bible Society Australia is partnering with World Vision to support the continued recovery effort in Nepal. Bible Society is raising money for emergency scripture distribution, and encouraging people to give towards the relief effort through World Vision.

Here is a list of other Australian Christian organisations with current appeals for the Nepal emergency response:

-World Vision
-International Nepal Fellowship
-TEAR Australia
-Caritas Australia
-Baptist World Aid
-Bible Society Australia


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