American Red Cross Supports the Nepal Red Cross Society Response
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The global Red Cross network, led by the Nepal Red Cross, has mounted an international relief effort to provide emergency humanitarian assistance following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal.
While details of the impact continue to come in, the Nepal Red Cross, which has extensive experience in responding to natural disasters, is providing first aid, search and rescue, blood to medical facilities in the capital and support to first responders. The American Red Cross is committing an initial $300,000 to the response operation and working closely with the Nepal Red Cross and the global Red Cross network to coordinate additional support. The American Red Cross is also providing remote mapping and information management support.
The Red Cross has approximately 19,000 non-food relief kits available in Nepal which include clothing, kitchen sets, tarpaulins, mosquito nets, and personal hygiene items. Nearly 1,200 tarpaulins have already been distributed to displaced families and the Red Cross is activating its logistics systems in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai to mobilize additional relief materials in the coming days. Total stock levels in the whole of Asia Pacific are sufficient to cover 50,000 families. Field assessment teams will be arriving in country in the next hours, including an information management delegate deployed from the American Red Cross, to obtain a more accurate assessment of the destruction.
The quake, the largest to hit the country since 1934, has killed at least 2,000 people in Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh and at the Nepal-China border, with thousands more injured. Many are feared trapped under rubble and the number of casualties is expected to rise. At least 15 aftershocks, ranging from magnitude 5 to 6.6, caused further damage to buildings and increased the risk of collapse. Tremors were felt as far away as Lahore in Pakistan, Lhasa in Tibet, and in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
“We are extremely concerned about the fate of communities in towns and villages in rural areas closer to the epicenter,” said Jagan Chapagain, the IFRC’s Director for Asia Pacific. “Access roads have been damaged or blocked by landslides and communications 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.”
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