American Red Cross disaster specialists going to Nepal
WASHINGTON, Sunday, April 26, 2015 — Red Cross Societies across the globe, including the American Red Cross, are rushing into Nepal with emergency humanitarian assistance following this weekend’s devastating earthquake.
The American Red Cross has disaster specialists on the way to Nepal and is committing an initial $300,000 to the relief effort. The American Red Cross is working closely with the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) and global Red Cross network to coordinate additional support. The American Red Cross is providing remote mapping and information management support to the earthquake response to obtain a more accurate assessment of the destruction.
RED CROSS ON THE GROUND The Nepal Red Cross is providing first aid, search and rescue, blood to medical facilities in the capital and support to first responders. The NRCS has extensive experience in responding to natural disasters and plays a leading role in the government’s contingency plan.
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.
HELP FINDING LOVES ONES The Nepal Red Cross Society and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are working to reunite families separated by the earthquake in Nepal. To learn more, visit the Nepal Earthquake Restoring Family Links page on the ICRC web site.
EXTENSIVE DEVASTATION The earthquake is the largest to hit Nepal since 1934 and already has caused significant destruction and loss of life. Accessibility to remote areas surrounding Kathmandu is a major challenge, hampering search and rescue and relief efforts. At least 2,000 people have been killed, with thousands more injured. At least 15 aftershocks, ranging from magnitude 5 to 6.6, caused further damage to buildings and increased the risk of collapse. Electricity and telephone connectivity is intermittent and mobile services are experiencing heavy congestion. Hospitals continue to function but are stretched to the limits.
LONG-STANDING RELATIONSHIP The American Red Cross has been working with the Nepal Red Cross (NRCS) since 1999, supporting both disaster relief and disaster preparedness programming.