28 Apr 15 28 Nov 16

Nepal earthquake emergency response

MSF teams witness the destruction and despair of the second Nepal earthquake while assessing needs in remote areas.

Shortly after the second earthquake hit Nepal, MSF quickly started assessing needs in the affected areas, most of which are in remote, mountainous districts.

Update 2 June 2015

On Tuesday 2 June, a helicopter delivering humanitarian aid crashed in Sindhupalchowk district, Nepal.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) regrets to confirm the death of three of its staff members in this crash.

The team were delivering much-needed medical and humanitarian assistance in Sindhupalchowk district when the accident occurred. MSF extends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of our staff, and to those of the pilot of the helicopter, who was also sadly killed. 

We trust that the privacy of the families will be respected at this difficult time, and we continue to offer our support to all affected staff and their families.

Huge needs in the aftermath of the two earthquakes

Ann Taylor, our head of mission, speaks about responding to the huge needs in the aftermath of the massive natural disaster.

"On 21 May, a logistics team landed in a village in the Arughat region (Gorkha district) to distribute hygiene kits (including buckets, soap, towels and detergent). A medical team accompanied them and will hold consultations.

"The helicopter had to come back several times to deliver the hygiene kits. The two teams will go to different isolated villages.

"The operation will begin again next week, with the distribution of tents, blankets, and jerry cans because 80-100 percent of the houses in this area were destroyed.

"People are sleeping outside and need shelters. It’s pretty urgent as the monsoons will start soon.

"This helicopter operation will also allow us to refer patients to our hospital in Arughat, if necessary. It includes an operating room, a labor and delivery unit, and an emergency room."

Second earthquake in two weeks

An MSF team that headed for Dolakha district witnessed first-hand villages being destroyed by the earthquake and landslides. Dolakha district was the epicentre of the latest 7.3 magnitude earthquake, the second one to strike Nepal in two weeks.

In Charikot, a village at the edge of the mountain, buildings had collapsed. The village of Sailungeshwar was affected by many landslides, some of which were ongoing at the time of the assessment. 

MSF will continue evaluating the needs in the affected areas while providing medical and relief assistance to the populations in need. MSF continues to attend to populations affected by the April 25th earthquake.

Read also:

Nepal Earthquake: "I’m in emergency mode right now"

Nepal: "The window of opportunity to reach people in these areas is rapidly closing"

“This complicates an already precarious situation. There is going to be more trouble accessing the affected areas. MSF is strengthening its emergency operations and re-assessing the needs of those affected by the current earthquake in order to respond accordingly and immediately,” says, Dan Sermand, MSF’s Country Director in Nepal.

 


For the last two weeks, MSF teams have been providing medical assistance and distributing food and shelter to remote areas impacted by the previous earthquake. MSF has also set-up a 20-bed inflatable hospital in Arughat in Gorkha district, which is running and serving the population affected by the previous disaster.

How are we responding in Nepal?

Expert medical and non-medical expert teams are assisting victims of the Nepal Earthquake, which shook the Kathmandu Valley before noon on Saturday 25 April.


  • We currently have approximately 120 staff working in Nepal and we have flown in more than 80 tonnes of supplies.
  • Teams are in Kathmandu assessing the situation in 4 hospitals over-stretched by influxes of wounded, with a focus on trauma and nephrology departments (to understand the capacity to deal with 'crush syndrome').
  • We are adding mental health workers to our teams to begin providing psychological first aid in villages where people have suffered severe psychological trauma.
  • An MSF surgical team provided support for three days at the hospital in Bhaktapur, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, in order to help the staff operate on waiting patients.
  • In the town of Arughat, in Gorkha district, we are setting up a 20-bed inflatable hospital to initially provide treatment for wounded people.

Since 29 April, MSF medical teams in Nepal have started reaching people spread across isolated mountain villages by helicopter and on foot. The districts of Dhading, Gorkha, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchowk were hit hard on 25 April and little or no assistance has reached many villages.

While the most critically injured people were evacuated in the days immediately after the earthquake, those remaining have been trapped in their villages as roads and walking tracks have been cut off by avalanches and landslides.

MSF medical teams are flying by helicopter to assess the needs and provide assistance in these remote villages. From 29 April to 4 May, MSF’s medical teams saw people in more than 15 villages.

On 3 May, an MSF team also set up a temporary clinic in the area of Chhapchet, in Dhading district, and began providing basic healthcare and minor surgical interventions.

The team will work to spread the word in the surrounding villages that people can now come to the clinic to receive care. On 4 May, another team landed in Lapubesi in Gorkha district, and will stay for three days to provide medical assistance in the area.

We are cleaning and dressing wounds, as well as distributing antibiotics and pain medication. We have also treated cases of pneumonia, including among children.”

How you can help

MSF teams are on the ground in Nepal, providing emergency assistance in response to the April 25 earthquake.

Your donations will go directly to MSF's general emergency fund, which enables us to act immediately when crises occur anywhere in the world, and has made our rapid response and ongoing efforts in Nepal possible.

Emergency aid for Nepal

Over 80 tonnes of emergency supplies and drugs have been dispatched including 3,000 kits (non-food items and medical kits) to Nepal.

A 7.8-magnitute earthquake shook the Kathmandu Valley before noon on Saturday. Thousands have been killed or injured and tens of thousands are without shelter. The extent of the damage has been wide-spread and medical needs are great.

Tremors were also strongly felt in northern India, in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

This page will be updated regularly with new information on our emergency response as the situation develops. Follow @MSF_ireland on Twitter for realtime updates.

Find out more about how we respond to natural disasters

More Stories