Author: Grace Smith, 12 May 2015 (Last updated: 14 May 2015)
A second major earthquake recently struck Nepal, killing dozens of people and injuring more than 1,000, though these numbers are likely to rise.
The earthquake, which was 7.3 on the Richter scale, hit the town of Namche Bazaar, near Mount Everest.
It comes just two weeks after a previous earthquake hit the country, killing more than 8,000 people.
With widespread damage to homes and buildings, tremors continue to be felt both in Kathmandu and around the country.
Many temporary shelters have now been cut off and with most communication channels still down, it is hard to evaluate the full scale of destruction.
An early start to the monsoon is hampering relief efforts. The first earthquake destroyed sewers and pipes leaving water supplies contaminated. Whole communities are now homeless and in desperate need of basic supplies.
So far, some £80,000 has been pledged from Bible Societies around the world, including £20,000 from the UK.
The local team has started to put together aid packs that include mosquito nets, medicine, food, blankets and scripture portions.
David Smith, Head of Bible Society’s International Programme, said, ‘When we learned of the first massive earthquake in Nepal a couple of weeks ago, we knew that our Bible Society colleagues in Kathmandu would be looking to help their country, and so that we had to do something to support them.
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‘Bible Society is responding to provide physical and spiritual nourishment to the people of Nepal. Now that the second earthquake has hit, we’re waiting to see what we can do to stand in solidarity with them. In the meantime, please pray.’
Nobody in the Bible Society team has been killed in the two earthquakes, but the building is badly damaged and there are fears of a third quake.
General Secretary of the Nepal Bible Society, Tej Jirel, said, ‘Many thanks for your continued efforts to help us and for your prayers. There has been lots of damage.’
Arun Sok Nhep, United Bible Society spokesman for South East Asia added, ‘Following the first earthquake, many International agencies on the ground are bringing emergency relief to Kathmandu and the worst affected locations. However, smaller remote communities remain out of reach.
‘Our response is one of solidarity and compassion. The initial quake hit with such impact, it is impossible to bring help to all affected. However, we aim to supplement and help where we can. Through a big network of churches throughout cities, towns and villages, we aim to reach those unattainable by emergency relief.’
- for the safety of the Bible Society team in Nepal
- that the relief effort would meet the needs of the people
- that the Bible would play a part in restoring the nation