It is a race against time to rescue any remaining survivors in the rubble from Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 Nepal earthquake and assist those who are in dire need of humanitarian aid.
The death toll now sits at more than 5,000, a figure that could climb to 10,000, with another 11,000 injured. Despite the harsh weather, Nepalis are sleeping outside as their homes are destroyed and they fear for their own safety inside damage buildings. Aftershocks are still rattling the region following the worst earthquake in Nepal in 80 years.
Aid has only begun to arrive at the earthquake-affected villages and towns, many located within remote mountain valleys, but the effort has been hampered by continued heavy downpours.
Downpours have already triggered at least two mudslides, with as many as 400 people reported missing in both incidents.
The United Nations warns of the humanitarian crisis to come with 1.4 million people in need of immediate food assistance. A total of eight million people have been affected by the earthquake in the region.
A massive global response to assist Nepalis is underway. The Canadian federal government is among the nations in the effort and has contributed $5 million to provide people with food, drinking water, shelter, health and hygiene services.
In the coming days, 200 Canadian soldiers with specialties in security, medical care and engineering will also be deployed to the earthquake-affected zones. A 40-member team of members from the Canadian Forces, including 18 members from the nation’s Disaster Assistance Response Team, are expected to arrive today.
A candlelight vigil led by the Nepal Cultural Society of British Columbia is scheduled for Vancouver this week. Everyone is welcome to join.
“This vigil is initiated to show our support for Nepal and the survivors there,” says organizers. “Nepal needs all the help it can right now and delaying this process will not help.”
To assist with humanitarian efforts, please consider donating to the Canadian Red Cross. The federal government of Canada has promised to match donations dollar-for-dollar until May 25.
— Canadian Red Cross (@redcrosscanada) April 28, 2015