Helping People and Animals in Nepal After Earthquake: How You Can Help, Get Info Too

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Emergency response teams from around the globe are in Nepal, assisting in search and rescue efforts and attending to the injured after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook the area of Kathmandu just minutes before noon local time on Saturday. There are 2288 reported deaths and 5850 injuries, according to figures provided by the Government of Nepal to the United Nations. This number is expected to rise.

Dozens of aftershocks followed, including a 6.7 magnitude earthquake Sunday, at 12:54 local time.

Among the organizations on the ground are Nepal Red Cross Society, The International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies, UNICEF, plus search and rescue teams from many countries, including Pakistan, China, Israel, U.S., Finland and Japan. The Humane Society International has also tweeted “HSI's Animal Rescue Team is safe & ready to deploy to help affected animals" and World Animal Protection (formerly WSPA) tells Samaritanmag it is preparing to deploy its emergency response vets to Nepal.

The United Nations’ Situation Report No. 3  — produced by the Office of the Resident Coordinator in Nepal, in collaboration with humanitarian partners (unspecified) — includes a situation overview, humanitarian response (outlining, to the best of their knowledge, the status of hospitals, team deployment, medical supplies needed, priorities, and other needs); logistics (airport and road access); protection; shelter; water, sanitation and hygiene; education; and general coordination.

The report is the most recent available, as of April 26, 7 p.m. Get updates from the UN here.

The most affected districts are Dhading, Gorkha, Rasuwa, Sindhupalchowk, Kavre, Nuwakot, Dolakha, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, and Ramechhap.

“This earthquake struck in a highly populated area, resulting in a significant humanitarian impact,” Hossam Elsharkawi, director of international emergencies and recovery for the Canadian Red Cross, said in a press statement. “Shelter, water and health are urgent priorities and we continue to work with local authorities to make sure that people get the help they need.”

Canadians can make a financial donation to the Canadian Red Cross Nepal Region Earthquake Fund at www.redcross.ca, by calling 1-800-418-1111 or by contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement on Saturday.

“On behalf of all Canadians, [my wife] Laureen and I offer our heartfelt condolences to the people of Nepal and northern India who lost family and friends in this powerful earthquake and its aftershocks. The thoughts and prayers of all Canadians are with the many affected by this disaster and we wish a speedy recovery to all those injured. 

“Our officials in the region are working with Nepalese and Indian authorities to ensure that any Canadians affected by the earthquake are safe and accounted for. In cooperation with international partners, they are also assessing the needs of the affected populations to determine how Canada may most effectively assist with the disaster if asked to help.”

Canadian citizens in Nepal requiring emergency consular assistance should use the Registration of Canadians Abroad (http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration) service, and contact the Consulate of Canada in Kathmandu, Nepal, by calling + 977 (1) 444-1976, or Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre by calling +1 613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted where available). An email can also be sent to sos@international.gc.ca.

Friends and relatives in Canada who are concerned about Canadian citizens in the affected area should contact Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre by calling 1-800-387-3124 (toll-free) or 613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted) or sending an email to sos@international.gc.ca.

“We are extremely concerned about the fate of communities in towns and villages in rural areas closer to the epicentre,” said Jagan Chapagain, IFRC director for Asia Pacific, in a statement. “Roads have been damaged or blocked by landslides and communication lines are down preventing us from reaching local Red Cross branches to get accurate information. We anticipate that there will be considerable destruction and loss of life.   

“We do not yet know the scope of the damage, but this is could be one of the deadliest and most devastating earthquakes since the 1934 tremor which devastated Nepal and Bihar. People will need considerable support including food, water, medical care and emergency shelter.”

On Saturday afternoon (GMT), the latest update appeared on the Humane Society International’s website and donate page: “Right now, the HSI Animal Rescue Team is on standby and ready to deploy to help humans and animals following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake 50 miles outside Nepal's capital city of Kathmandu early Saturday morning. We're monitoring the situation by the minute and coordinating closely with our partners on the ground there.

“When disaster strikes, HSI supports relief efforts to provide animals with life-saving rescue, emergency shelter, food, water, and veterinary care. We do whatever is necessary to help both people and animals affected by disaster…”

World Animal Protection does the same. “The scale of this disaster is catastrophic for both people and animals,” said Josey Kiton, executive director of World Animal Protection Canada, in a statement. “Our team of disaster specialist vets are on their way to Kathmandu to give desperately needed help.  Early indications are that animals will be in dire need; injured, starving, open to the elements and at high risk of disease. By helping them, we will also help the people who rely so heavily on them for their livelihoods, transport and food.” 

Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.