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13 May 2015

Aid continues as Nepal suffers second quake

Aid continues as Nepal suffers second quake

As a second earthquake struck Nepal in less than a month, Christian aid agencies already on the ground have stepped up their response.

The second quake hit on 12 May at lunchtime, local time, and measured 7.4 on the Richter scale. It has killed 37 people with more than 1,000 injured according to the Nepalese government.

Last month, Nepal was crippled by an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, with more than 8,000 people killed.

Samaritan Purse is in on the ground with 37 staff members.

They have been supplying tents, food and blankets since the first earthquake struck. They have also been tackling the need for clean water with an initial supply of 15,000 jerry cans and 120,000 Aqua Tabs.

Staff members were not harmed during the second earthquake, but areas that were already 80 to 90 per cent damaged have been completely flattened. The medical team that was already in the area has been able to provide an immediate response.

Christian Aid is also providing aid for the relief effort. Yeeshu Shukla, a Christian Aid emergency worker, was 40 miles away from the epicentre in Namche Bazaar when he felt the ground began to shake. He explained: "For a moment, I felt that the building I was in would come down. 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 and some buildings collapsed.

Nick Guttman, head of humanitarian at Christian Aid had just arrived in Nepal to monitor the progress of the relief effort when he found himself caught in the second major earthquake.

He said: "People were walking round the streets, not knowing what to do, I heard one woman ask 'What is happening to Nepal?'"

After the initial earthquake in April, there had been concerns about further aftershocks, but a second earthquake just over two weeks has still taken the Nepalese by surprise with fear across the country.

Tearfund partners had been visiting several villages near the epicentre of the second earthquake on May 11, a day before the second earthquake hit eastern Nepal.

Steve Collins, Tearfund's country director in Nepal, said: "The extent of the damage is unclear at this early stage, but our partners are on the ground assessing the extent of the damage and the immediate need."

In the days following the first earthquake that hit Nepal on 25 April, 2015, the Disasters Emergency Committee, which includes several Christian charities launched an appeal. It has now raised £50 million for Nepal.

Now the goal is to get relief to the worse affected areas after this second major earthquake.