Second Nepal earthquake brings back nightmarish memories

By May 13, 2015
(Photo courtesy Baptist Global Response)

(Photo courtesy Baptist Global Response)

Nepal (BGR/MNN) — A powerful new earthquake rattled Nepal on Tuesday May 12. According to BBC, at least 37 have died and more than 1,000 have been injured.

The 7.3-magnitude quake came 17 days after a massive earthquake destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and killed over 8,000 people. As the epicenter, Namche Bazar, is near Mount Everest, the tremor triggered a series of landslides.

Tuesday’s earthquake will add to the already-dismal statistics as rescue workers once again begin the arduous task of rescue and recovery.

The Southern Baptist relief teams have been providing for Nepal since the first earthquake, and now they are searching for the newest damage and emergency needs.

Baptist Global Response, the Southern Baptist humanitarian organization with which IMB partners in disaster response, is coordinating the efforts. BGR’s Nepal Earthquake Response will continue helping those who are suffering by providing basic needs like water, shelter, food, and healthcare.

Francis Horton, who is coordinating the earthquake response for BGR, said one of his teams was on the mountain when the quake hit. As they were descending, they came upon a recently-collapsed house and offered their help. Fortunately, the family had been outside when it fell, and the team was able to provide comfort.

“This quake really brought back nightmarish memories for many people,” Horton said. “Immediately, businesses shut doors and buildings emptied into the streets.”

The earthquake hit 47 miles east of Kathmandu on the way to Everest Base Camp. It could be felt as far away as Delhi, India and Dhaka, Bangladesh. According to BBC, three people were killed in India.

Landslides have cut off roads to the main town near the border of Tibet.

One local Nepali pastor asked for prayer as reports of two major landslides have caused havoc in the area, on top of damage from the most-recent earthquake.

As strong tremors were felt in Kathmandu and other areas affected by last month’s quake, rumors of another large earthquake circulated the country for weeks. More than 100 aftershocks took place the first week, and hundreds of thousands slept outside in tarps or under the open sky as they feared buildings would come crashing down around them.

That same fear surfaces now.

“Looks like it will be another night outside,” a local Christian conveyed over Facebook. He was in the exact same building when the April 25 quake hit. He said the building in Kathmandu shook and swayed, then everyone ran to the streets in panic.

“Everyone is too frightened to sleep inside tonight,” he wrote. His family will be sleeping under a tarp provided through BGR relief funds. “The aftershocks are still going, and we have no idea if buildings are safe.”

The extent of the loss of buildings is still undetermined from the April 25 quake. Nepal’s National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) estimates around 299,588 homes were destroyed and 269,107 were damaged in the first earthquake. They still had thousands more to check out for stability before this May 12 tremor hit.

BGR is working with a Southern Baptist partner to check out as many homes as possible. Their contact was caught in the first earthquake with a team in the mountains. He opted to extend his stay to work with local believers in assessing homes.

Horton said BGR will continue its plan of “Disaster to Development,” with added attention to the immediate needs generated by the newest earthquake.

“We are seeking to meet needs as we find them and to implement a plan that will be a 6-12 month response,” Horton said, adding that BGR is partnering with local churches in this response. “People in the hills are already beginning to construct shelter that will get them through the rainy season. We want to help them along in this process so they can attend to other issues, such as farming the crops that will be food security for next year.

“They are determined to reconstruct. They need to get family life back to normal,” he said. “We want to help them do that. We want to be the hands and feet of Christ.”

BGR invites you to help Nepal by praying, donating, or volunteering to go.

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