On April 25 at 11:56 local time, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, with the epicenter in Lamjung District, about 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu and just south of the China border. Dozens of aftershocks followed, including a 6.7 magnitude earthquake on April 26. There are over 4,300 fatalities & more than 8,100 people have been injured, but we know these numbers are likely to significantly increase in the days and weeks to come. More than 8 million people have been affected.
There is widespread damage and destruction of buildings, roads and other infrastructure. There is a decent picture of needs in Kathmandu, but the situation is much less clear in outlying areas. In Kathmandu Valley, hospitals are overcrowded, running out of room and also running short of emergency supplies. Post-earthquake diseases are a concern. Diarrhea is already an issue in Kathmandu Valley, and getting clean water and hand soap to affected areas will be critical in preventing their spread.
We are on the ground conducting rapid needs assessments and coordinating the organization's comprehensive emergency response. Our mobile medical teams are already out helping the injured. One mobile medical unit is deployed to Gorkha and another is in Dhadin. We are quickly scaling up to provide emergency medical services including trauma care, mobilize local volunteer doctors and nurses, procure and deliver medicine and medical supplies and provide shelter and blankets.
While immediate needs will be addressed first International Medical Corps' focus on self-reliance in tandem with relief efforts will ensure that a lasting impact is made in the region. We are working to provide clean water and hygiene materials in an effort to prevent diseases related to diarrhea. As events continue to unfold it will also become more clear where support is needed to ensure long-term impact for local communities and families.