Dr. Dalibor Tasevski, HOPE’s Regional GIK Manager/Disaster Response Coordinator reached Kathmandu last night accompanied by Dr. Vlatko Uzevski, HOPE’s Program Manager from Macedonia and Kenly Flanigan, HOPE’s Volunteer Coordinator.
It’s been five days since the massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday, killing more than 5,000 people and the number of injured continues to rise. Yet at the hotel in Kathmandu, where we are staying, we are still feeling aftershocks.
I arrived in Kathmandu this morning, along with Dr. Vlatko Uzevski. We were joined later in the day by Kenly Flanigan. The airport is open, but overwhelmed at this point.
We quickly set out to make contacts with Ministry of Health officials and other NGOs and possible partners on the ground. Our first priority is to secure logistics to get urgently needed medicines into Nepal and to get HOPE medical volunteers to the locations in most critical need of medical care and assistance.
The scene in Kathmandu is quite eerie. While one whole side of a street can look perfectly intact and normal, the other side of the street can have large buildings totally collapsed.
We have been told that the outlying villages, closer to the epicenter of the quake, are faring even worse. There, entire towns and their health centers are completely destroyed.
While what you see on the news is devastating, the situation in Nepal is even more heart wrenching, when you add in the personal stories of loss. On the flight from India to Nepal, Kenly sat next to a man from Chicago. His whole family lives in Nepal, and he has not been able to contact anyone from his family since the earthquake. “He sold everything he had to purchase a ticket and get to Nepal,” Kenly told us.
Our hotel has no electricity tonight, and the aftershocks continue. But our mission is clear as we secure the path for volunteers and medicines to start arriving in the next few days.
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