Heavy rains and the coming monsoon season in Nepal are bringing greatly increased dangers of landslides and the spread of disease, with risks even more pronounced after yesterday’s second major earthquake forced many thousands back out of their homes and onto the streets, according to NGO Plan International Australia.
The latest earthquake, which followed the destructive earthquake of April 25, has again left thousands either too scared to return to their homes or now without homes at all. Plan staff report that many more houses and buildings have been badly damaged or destroyed by the latest quake.
“We have already seen heavy rain in recent days, and torrential, daily downpours will be here within weeks,” says Mattias Bryneson, Country Director of Plan Nepal.
“After yesterday’s earthquake, people are now sleeping outdoors – they are too afraid to return home, or they no longer have a home to return to,” says Bryneson.
“Families with babies and young children are left out in the wet and the cold. People are still in shock and trying to come to terms with what has happened to them, and when the weather turns, these communities will be at greater risk from landslides and the spread of diseases,” he says.
Plan has delivered more than 10,000 essential tarpaulins and ropes for temporary shelter to communities in some of the worst affected areas of Nepal, including Sindhupalchowk, Dolakha and Makwanpur.
“The international aid effort has been getting through to communities across Nepal, but we have a lot more to do. In addition to meeting people’s immediate urgent needs, we are committed to helping rebuild communities over the long term,” said Bryneson.
“We need the continued support of the international community and donors to make sure the children and communities get the resources they need to get through this monsoon season, and rebuild.”
Australians can donate to Plan’s Nepal earthquake appeal by visiting plan.org.au or by ringing 13 75 26.
Photos from Nepal can be downloaded here: bit.ly/plannepalquake. Please credit ‘Plan International Australia’.
Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world, founded 77 years ago, working in 51 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas and supported by 21 donor countries. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.
Media contact: Adam Cathro, Plan International Australia, Media Relations Manager, 0488 202 945