A SECOND large earthquake struck Nepal on Tuesday, less than
three weeks after the earthquake on 15 April in which more than
8000 people died (News, 24
The epicentre of the earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.4,
was the town of Namche Bazaar, in eastern Nepal, the last large
settlement before Everest base camp. The effects were felt in
neighbouring India and Tibet.
A Christian Aid emergency-programme officer, Yeeshu Shukla, was
in the Sindhupalchowk region, 40 miles away. "For a moment, I felt
that the building I was in would come down," he said on Tuesday.
"We rushed out. Everyone was out on the street, some of them
panicking, with mothers screaming, looking for their children.
There were four or five severe after-shocks. . .
"Travelling later towards Kathmandu, the roads were lined with
people too scared to re-enter buildings, with heaps of rubble where
some structures had collapsed. Now the race is to get relief
through to the worst-hit areas - clothing and other
The protection co-ordinator for CAFOD, Catherine Cowley, who was
in in Gorkha district when the earthquake struck, said: "The
biggest impact is fear. Everyone is desperately trying to contact
their families to make sure they're safe. Everyone is scared that
more buildings will collapse.
"When we started the car to leave the village, a woman screamed,
because she thought the engine noise was another aftershock. People
are traumatised and panicking. Driving through the countryside, you
can see people gathered outside, scared to go indoors."
The head of emergencies at Tearfund, Oenone
Chadburn, said that seismologists had been warning for a long
time that the region was "overdue for a lot of movement of the
plates. But it's very difficult to then determine whether they are
going to move a lot, and with several jolts, or a one-off event, or
She reported that there had been six aftershocks within the
first three hours of the earthquake on Tuesday. The affected areas
had the same terrain as had made the delivery of aid difficult
after the first earthquake, she said. "It's extremely mountainous,
with undeveloped roads and some locations you can only get to via
trekking rather than vehicles. It's these kinds of locations that
are where aid needs to get to the most."
A priority is housing. Up to half a million people have been
made homeless since 25 April.
The public had been "extremely generous", Ms Greenwood said, but
the challenging environment meant that the delivery of aid was
costly. There was a need for heavy lifting equipment, for example,
to clear landslides.