Nepal Earthquake: Update on situation, and how to help
The day is just beginning in Nepal, and news will likely bring more sadness and tragedy. Aftershocks reportedly are still hitting the countryside, some up to magnitude 6.6 (a big quake in its own right). Some 1800+ are already confirmed dead, 5000+ injured, and that number will rise.
We have at this point only basic knowledge of what has happened and the extent of the devastation. It certainly will be bad. But, the Nepali people are strong, courageous, and have united admirably in the face of this challenge. They will come through it, but our help is needed.
Some updates from what I know:
- 1,800+ confirmed dead, with many more injured or missing.
- Everest Basecamp was hit by a massive avalanche that came off from the saddle between Lingtren and Pumori, moving many camps with a massive wind blast and burying many climbers. Many others are stranded at Camps 1 and 2 (above the Icefall) as the route down has collapsed. Check the blogs of RMI, IMG, Madison Mountaineering, and others for news.
- Very little word yet from areas besides Kathmandu and Everest. The epicenter was in Lamjung, 43 miles NW of Kathmandu. Destruction there is expected to be high, and the same in other rural areas.
- Many historic treasures lost in the Kathmandu Valley, manyrreplaceable structures have been lost: Dharahara Tower, built in 1832, completely collapsed with hundreds inside. Bhaktapur’s 16th century Vatsala Durga temple is gone completely, as are much of the famed Durbar Squares of Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, and Lalitpur (Patan),. Famed Boudhanath Stupa sustained damage and cracks have formed in its top, and Pashupatinath, one of the most scared Shiva temples in the world, was damaged as well. Swyambhunath Temple – the famed Monkey Temple – also sustained serious damage (see video here).
Again, this is only what I have been able to glean from friends, and online reports. All will change as this tragedy unfolds and more information comes to light.
So many generous souls have asked how they can help, what they can do. First, foremost, and simplest: give, and give generously. Nepal and its people and environment has done so in spades for all of us that have visited there; now is time to return the favor. There are many great organizations working in relief there currently (see list below of some suggestions), but please do your homework. Vet each organization using Charity Navigator or GuideStar and make sure they are responsible and reputable. And, check the fine print to ensure the funds you give will go to Nepal and not into some deep coffers.
That said, here’s a list of some good options, in no particular order:
- Red Cross
- UN’s World Food Program
- Save the Children
- Catholic Relief Services
- Mercy Corps
- Doctors without Borders
There’s many more, but this is a start. Also, please remember to donate after the earthquake as well – ongoing, post-disaster development work is critical, and you can visit my last post to learn about some of the great organizations to consider.
Finally, an update on my efforts and hopes to bring some essential equipment to Nepal – sleeping bags, tents, warm clothing. I’ve been in touch with many people, and great colleagues from the climbing community, and we’re working hard to figure out a way to collect, transport, and distribute equipment to those who need it most. We are committed to making this happen, but as yet have no means to transport items to Nepal. I will learn more tomorrow about options, and how we can proceed. And, once a plan is in place, we will need people to donate items, people to help collect gear at home, and to help get it to a central location for transport to Nepal. Again, please contact me if you’re interested in helping.
Thank you, and keep sending good thoughts to those who need it most.