It’s time for a fresh start. Schools, both undamaged and makeshift, open today across Nepal. In fact, UN OCHA estimates that nearly 1 million children will not have a classroom to go to.
With the sixth Tzu Chi relief team currently in Nepal, it’s not over yet. Volunteers estimate that aside from immediate needs such as medical care, shelter, nourishment, and sanitation, mental health needs have soared as many locals living in the tented areas of Maheswori have demonstrated symptoms of post-traumatic stress and emotional trauma. The road to recovery will be a long one.
To date, the death toll has reached 8,692. It is uncertain how many more deaths will be revealed in the coming weeks as more bodies are uncovered from debris.
After discovering a case of head lice in the Mahewsori tented area, Tzu Chi volunteers are checking the scalps of children and adults with lice-related symptoms. They estimate that lice has spread to roughly 90% of children in the same tent area.
Wet weather is ahead. The South Asian Monsoon makes its annual migration across the Indian subcontinent. In Nepal, the monsoon is expected to last for an average of 105 days, and higher altitude areas are expected to see more rainfall.
As of yesterday, Tzu Chi volunteers have distributed over 60,885 relief materials, treated 7,272 patients, and given out over 48,750 meals.
School is coming back in session. Studies are set to resume on Sunday, May 31st, with many classes being held under open-air tarps. The Nepali federal government has stressed that teachers and staff will focus on play and open discussion of the quakes, rather than normal studies, in the first few weeks.
It’s been a busy week. On Monday, Tzu Chi volunteers held medical outreaches in Chitapol & Jhaukhel. Other members of the relief team continued to conduct assessments and even held a blessing ceremony for local residents. On Tuesday, they held clinics in the tented areas of Mahewsori, and Swayambunath.
Yesterday, relief materials distributed in the Libali tented area in Bhaktapur went to 68 families. A sixth team of volunteers departed Taiwan and reached Nepal last night. More relief to come.
Aftershocks continue. According to the National Seismologic Center in Kathmandu, three more struck the country today, with two measuring 4.6 & 4.5 in magnitude in the Sindhupalchowk district, and a third, measuring measuring 4.2 in the Dolakha district. 273+ aftershocks have been recorded since the initial earthquake on April 25th.
Tzu Chi volunteers continue clinics throughout the country and provide relief materials. Meanwhile, to raise spirits, volunteers in tented areas lead locals in song and dance. More to come.
Non-disaster regulations begin to return. Authorities will now put standard federal customs requirements and procedures back in place.
The Nepali federal government confirmed that 500,717 homes were reportedly destroyed and that 269,190 are partially damaged. The current death toll stands at 8,669 and 384 remain missing.
At a local university, Tzu Chi volunteers distributed rice, oil, sugar, and other living supplies for 2,200 families. More to come.
According to the UN OCHA, over 300 agencies currently supplement the federal governments response to the earthquake. An estimated 2.8 million people are still in need of humanitarian aid.
Over the weekend, the Tzu Chi relief team held clinics in tented areas of Maheswori, the Swayambunath Temple, and the Thrangu Tara Abbey. At the Swayambunath Temple, also known as the “monkey temple,” located west of Kathmandu, hot meal service also began.
Relief efforts get complicated. Today, an overnight landslide clogged the Kali Gandaki river in north western Nepal. The mud and rocks sent forth caused water levels to rise by nearly 500 ft (or 150 m). A nearby dam is currently overflowing as a result, and is being closely monitored.
As of the weekend, Tzu Chi volunteers distributed approximately 5,500 tarps, tents, and floor mats. Tzu Chi has also employed 1,739 people in the Cash for Relief program. More to come.
Unity emerges from tragedy. Heads of state of both India and China, PM Narendra Modi & PM Li Keqiang (respectively), have both agreed to work with the government of Nepal in reconstruction, rehabilitation, and development efforts.
Meanwhile, Tzu Chi relief teams have distributed 50,250 relief materials, have treated 5,735 patients, and have given out 25,250 hot meals as of May 21. Currently, the relief team in Nepal consists of 86 volunteers and 14 are medical professionals. More to come.
The numbers are in. The Nepal’s federal government estimates that the costs of damage is approximately US$10 billion. That’s nearly half of it’s gross domestic product, or GDP, which is US$19.2 billion.
Spiritual groups have also taken a big hit. Authorities suggest that nearly 200 Buddhist monks and nuns have died and that roughly 1,000 monasteries have collapsed due to the quakes and following aftershocks. According to the 2011 National Population & Housing Census, roughly 2.4 million Nepalis identify as Buddhist.
The relief team is checking in. Yesterday, the Tzu Chi volunteers followed up on residents staying in the Mahewsori tent areas. They also held a clinic in both Mahewsori & Chitapol, treating 194 patients altogether. More to come tomorrow.
Things are in transition. The UN OCHA reports that foreign military forces will now switch gears from relief operations to technical assistance as it supports rehabilitation efforts in Nepal.
Across the country, schools have taken a hard hit. The UN reports that as many as 870,000 children will not be able to attend before May 31st because of overly damaged facilities.
In a distribution yesterday, Tzu Chi volunteers gave out relief items to 250 families across 4 villages. The medical relief team returned to Chitapol to hold a medical outreach and handed out 50 tarps. A fifth team of volunteers has arrived in Nepal.
It all comes full circle. Back in 1993, massive floods drowned out the Terai region of Nepal, which covers 17% of its total land. Tzu Chi volunteers, helped rebuild homes across the region and called each of these communities a “Great Love Village.”
Yesterday, Tzu Chi’s relief teams went back to these villages and visited the towns of Santapur, Paurai, Sukhe Pokhari, and the Sarlahi district. In another, called Padma Pokhari, the medical relief team also held a free clinic for locals.
The Tzu Chi disaster relief team also donated 100 folding beds & 500 folding blankets to the Dhulikhel & Kathmandu University Hospitals yesterday. On Monday, May 18, the relief team also distributed relief materials to 114 families and held a clinic that treated 113 patients in the town of Majuwa.
Probable aftershocks still loom ahead. The US Geological Survey has suggested that the chances of a magnitude 5 or 6 aftershock is 40% likely to occur from today, May 20th, to next Tuesday, May 26th. Research suggests that as little as one to up to three aftershocks may lie ahead during this period.
Housing has taken a big hit. As of yesterday, the Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed that approximately 488,789 homes were destroyed and 267,477 are damaged.
According to the federal government, the current death toll stand at 8,617. And the UN OCHA reports that 148 of those are attributed to the quake on May 12th.
Tzu Chi’s 4th relief team is still en route to Nepal.
It’s the start of a new week and new initiatives are born. Nepal’s Ministry of Information & Communications announced the federal government’s approval of a grant of NPR 15,000 (or US$150) to families to build temporary shelter in advance of monsoon season.
As per the UN OCHA, the death toll has increased to 8,604 people.
Tzu Chi volunteers also worked through the weekend. On Saturday, May 16th, volunteers treated 323 patients in clinics in the Bhaktapur district, including Maheswori and in Chitapol. Yesterday, Tzu Chi relief teams and an association for military families went to the town of Nangle-Bhare to distribute supplies to approximately 300 families. Additional supplies are in shipment.
This Sunday, both a historical high & historical low were reached. Nepal’s Home Ministry reports updated fatalities since April 25th at 8,583. Back in 1934,another earthquake was responsible for 8,519 deaths. 81 years later, the nation’s bleak record has been beaten.
According to the UN OCHA, an estimated 3.5 million are also in need of food assistance. Among them, approximately 126,000 children (ages 6 mo – 23 mo) lack proper nutrition in their current meals.
Yesterday, Tzu Chi volunteers conducted two medical relief assessments in the towns of Majuwa & Tathali. The relief team also donated 200 bundles of materials to the Nepal National Academy of Physics & the village of Katunje-Charange.
It’s a drizzly Saturday in Kathmandu and the aftershocks continue. An additional quake, measuring 5.7 in magnitude, struck 76km (or 47mi) east of the capitol. The federal government currently cites cumulative deaths at 8,492. Rainfall is expected in Kathmandu everyday in the coming week.
Yesterday, 551 patients were treated by the Tzu Chi medical team in Maheswori. The hot meal program, Cash for Relief, served 2,400 meals to families near Kathmandu. A fourth round of Tzu Chi volunteers are en route to Nepal, and are passing through Indonesia.
The weekend is upon us, but relief efforts are still in full force. The Nepali Federal government plans to provide 5,000 rupees (or US$50) per family & to standardize distribution of roofing materials to those communities it can reach.
Currently, the National Emergency Operations Center reports that the earthquake has cumulatively caused 8,462 deaths & has left approximately 20,000 injured.
Yesterday, Tzu Chi volunteers donated Jing Si rice, red beans, salt and other supplies to an association for military families, who will then deliver the goods to 1,000 families in the Gorkha district. Current volunteers are assisting in three major initiatives: health centers, camp areas, and clinics. In the villages of Maheswori & Chitapol, 461 patients have been treated and both medicines & anti-mosquito materials have been distributed to school children.
Summer is coming, and monsoon season inches closer and closer. From June to August, it rains almost everyday, with occasional thunderstorms in the evening. Usually a welcome season for vegetation, this year’s rainfall is expected to hamper relief efforts.
So far, 100 people are reported dead from quake no. 2.
Today, a fourth round of Tzu Chi volunteers depart for Nepal. All relief teams have consisted of members from at least 7 different countries. An additional shipment of 4,020 blankets, 300 beds, and 2,650 packages of Jing Si (or disaster relief) rice are also on the way.
As of yesterday, Tzu Chi has provided shelter to 5,500 people (via tents, tarps, & floor mats), employed 1,650 in the Cash for Relief program (via hot meal prep, street cleaning, & tent setup), and received donations from approximately 26 countries, including the US & Canada.
It’s a rainy week ahead. Thunderstorms are forecasted over the next five days, focused near the epicenter of quake no. 2. Delays are expected in ongoing relief efforts.
Deaths from the second quake have risen to 76, according to emergency officials in Nepal. From the first quake, numbers are still expected to rise as bodies are recovered from rubble around the country.
From the distributions held over the past 3 days, a total of 5,900 households received dry goods. To date, Tzu Chi has treated 3,000 patients and has distributed 6,000 hot meals. The medical team continues to provide first aid in both Kathmandu and Bhaktapur.
It’s not over yet. At 12:35 PM local time, a second quake, measuring 7.3 in magnitude, struck Nepal just east of the epicenter of April 25th’s earthquake. Three large aftershocks followed, each measuring above 5.0 on the Richter scale.
So far, 66 deaths have been reported, including 17 in India and 1 in Tibet. Over a thousand are injured. Deputy administrator of the Sindhupalchowk district Diwakar Koirala said that the new quake has caused three more large landslides, making it increasingly difficult to access already hard to reach villages.
Tzu Chi volunteers were in the middle of an additional distribution at Kathmandu’s New Municipality Building at the time of the 2nd quake. All volunteers & attendees are reported without injury. Still, Tzu Chi’s physicians rushed to treat the wounded.
While the country continues to recover, worries about the quake’s economic effects rise. Nepal’s Finance Minister, Ram Sharan Mahat, estimates that the economic costs to the country count as little as $10 billion. This number is expected to rise in the coming months.
Passing rains from the summer monsoon season have already begun, slowing down relief efforts throughout the country.
A second distribution, held by Tzu Chi volunteers, yielded materials for 1,500 households. Items included rice, oil, sugar, and toiletries.
Additional relief teams visited the Melamchi village of the Sindhupalchowk district. They will conduct further assessments for potential aid.
Aftershocks continue to rock Nepal. Today, three additional tremors hit Sindhupalchowk, the Sindhupalchowk/Tibetan border, and Udaypur. Immediately after the quake struck, the Sindhupalchowk district was the target of its strongest aftershock, recorded at 6.7. According to the UN OCHA, as many as 3,057 people are confirmed dead with 3,000 reported missing in the area. Sindhupalchowk is among the three districts with the highest reported fatalities.
Tzu Chi finishes their first distribution in Kathmandu. Items include cooking oil and dry goods such as rice and sugar. 2,700 families were serviced. Tzu Chi volunteers work in cooperation with local volunteers and the military to continue large scale distributions over the next two days.
On a brighter note, the Tzu Chi Foundation continues to host “Buddha Bathing Ceremonies,” in honor of the Buddha’s birthday, around the world this weekend. For the very first time, Tzu Chi volunteers held a ceremony in Nepal. 200 Lamas, or teachers of Buddhist Dharma, were in attendance.
It is now over 2 weeks since the earthquake and most search and rescue teams have left the country. Still, there is much work to be done. The UN’s initial pledge goal of $423 million, for their first three months of aid, has only yielded $22.4 million in donations so far. Worries have risen that, since international focuses have shifted since the quake, such needs cannot be met.
This weekend, Tzu Chi volunteers all over the world celebrate the Buddha’s birthday, who’s birthplace is Nepal.
Tzu Chi volunteers in Kathmandu, Bakhtapur, and the surrounding regions continue their relief efforts.
Two aftershocks, measuring 4 & 5 in magnitude, rocked districts east of Kathmandu. At least 150 aftershocks above magnitude 4 have been reported thus far since the earthquake on April 25th.
As of yesterday, 11,701 people have been serviced by Tzu Chi’s relief teams. 1,740 patients have been seen and 12 surgeries have been performed thus far. The medical team has also reached out and has provided service beyond Kathmandu. In Tathali, the team’s supply of 1,000 pills is depleted, and in Pakandol, Tzu Chi’s team was the first medical aid to enter the rural village. 113 patients were seen for treatment. In one day, the team saw 348 patients in both villages, the highest recorded in a single day of Tzu Chi’s medical relief in Nepal thus far.
60 large tents, 500 tarps, & 500 canvases have been distributed as shelter. Tzu Chi volunteers have begun “home” visits. They are currently meeting with families to assess their most critical needs. Volunteers are currently planning 50 distributions in Bakhtapur from May 10-15.
On May 11th, additional supplies, such as 4,020 blankets, 300 folding beds, and 2,650 kg of Tzu Chi’s Jing Si rice are expected to reach Kathmandu.
The death toll soars to 8,413, so says the Nepal Red Cross Society. The count inches closer and closer to the government’s prediction of approximately 10,000 fatalities.
In the Langtang Valley, a mountainous trekking route popular with travelers, an estimated 300 are presumed dead after an avalanche induced by the earthquake. Langtang village is roughly 40 mi (60 km) from Kathmandu, and at least 110 foreigners are counted among those lost. The village itself is completely wiped out.
The third Tzu Chi relief team has arrived in Kathmandu. Team members come from Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore. On the ground, Tzu Chi volunteers plan to setup tented areas and prepare for large scale distributions ahead of monsoon season at the end of May.
Language is still a great barrier. But many on the team, like Tzu Chi pharmacist Pea Shan Cai uses drawings & cards in Nepali, English, & Mandarin to communicate with her patients.
As more and more of the country is being reached, all numbers have gone up. The UN OCHA reports that casualties have climbed to 7,675 and that the number of those injured has increased to 16,392. Destroyed homes are at 284,455 and 234,102 are damaged. Increases are expected indefinitely.
Nepal’s world heritage sites were not spared in the quake either. 90% of the UNESCO sites have been destroyed. Kathmandu’s 3 Durbar Squares, among the cities most well known and visited sites, have crumbled to the ground.
Tzu Chi’s disaster relief team is currently assessing the most critical areas in need of rebuilding. Tzu Chi volunteer from NY, George Chang, was among the team that accompanied the Mayor of Bakhtapur, Prem Suwal, in visiting the worst affected areas of the city.
Tzu Chi’s volunteers were the first foreign relief team allowed entry by Nepal’s federal government. To date, their medical team has served at least 1,500 people.
Furthermore, Tzu Chi’s Cash for Relief program is set to begin. 10 locals have been employed and will be trained to prepare Tzu Chi’s Jing Si rice, which is ready to use in disaster situations. The team plans to feed an estimated 350 households, or an equivalent of 1,800 people, both lunch and dinner daily.
Nepal’s government counts today’s death toll at 7,500 and counting. According to the World Health Organization, over 40,000 patients have received medical attention in Kathmandu. Rural areas remain slow to receive aid.
From April 30 to May 4, the Tzu Chi medical team has serviced 1,106 patients and has performed 12 surgeries. 7 of the first medical responders have returned home, but the team donated their medical supplies to 3 area hospitals.
Tzu Chi volunteers also built 14 large tents, shipped from Indonesia, for residents. Each tent houses up to 6 families each.
A third relief team from Taiwan will leave for Nepal on the 6th. It consists of 41 volunteers, 12 of which are medical staff.
The death toll rises to 7,365 according to the Nepali government; 14,366 are reported injured.
The UN OCHA estimates that $415 million USD is needed for vital humanitarian relief. The government currently estimates that the earthquake destroyed 191,058 homes and has damaged 175,162.
In Kathmandu, Tzu Chi anesthesiologist, Lin Chang Hung, joined a local medical team for a C-section. The patient successfully gave birth to a pair of twins.
During surgeries in Kathmandu, power went in and out. Tzu Chi doctors used the flashlight function on their phones & solar-powered LED lights to proceed with surgery.
Meanwhile, an additional group of Tzu Chi medical volunteers also ventured to the small town of Pikhel. Unable to drive in all the way, the team had to travel on foot to enter the village. Locals helped setup tents for medical service and local medical students helped with patient registration. Open wounds and fevers were among the conditions needing the highest attention. To date, at least 28,240 patients have received some form of medical attention in the Kathmandu Valley.
Tzu Chi volunteer Damai Lama, who is originally from Nepal, has been helping the team communicate with locals since his arrival last week. He’s currently helping coordinate a Cash-For-Relief program.
The death toll soars. According to the Nepali National Emergency Operations Center, it is now at 7,250, with 14,122 injured. Through 26 districts surveyed by the Nepali government, 1,383 schools have been damaged by the earthquake.
Global Tzu Chi volunteers will gather from May 3rd to May 8th, everyday from 7:30 – 9PM to pray for Nepal. Over 10,000 people from 10 countries across 246 service centers are expected to join.
This weekend, teams of Tzu Chi volunteers took to the streets to raise money in 231 unique locations across the US. All proceeds will go to relief efforts.
Today, Nepali officials count the death toll at 6,800 and rising, with more than 14,350 injured. While the number of missing Americans is still unknown, the European Union estimates that up to 1,000 Europeans, many who were traveling, are missing in Nepal.
Tzu Chi’s medical outreach has so far treated 225 patients, and in the late evening, Tzu Chi’s second round of medical volunteers finally reached Nepal. At 6 AM, 9 Tzu Chi doctors rolled up their sleeves and got to work at three sites in Bhaktapur, where they will treat both internal injuries and external wounds. At Bhaktapur’s Cancer Hospital, they are preparing for surgery for 200 patients with bone fractures. They are equipped with surgical hand drills, 760 screws, and 60 splints. Surgeries will go from 8 AM to 8 PM. Four surgeries have so far been successful.
According to the UN, 600,000 homes have been either destroyed or are in need of repair. The Tzu Chi disaster relief team is currently assessing residential rebuilding efforts.
The death toll climbs today beyond 6,204, according to Nepal’s National Emergency Operations Center. Nepal’s economy relies largely on foreign tourism, with Mt. Everest its biggest attraction. As many as 200 are still stranded on the mountain.
Meanwhile in Kathmandu, Tzu Chi’s medical team is sharing their first aid supplies and medical resources with local doctors. Tzu Chi volunteers from Indonesia are sending 13 tons of materials (including additional medical supplies, water purifiers, plastic tarps, and folding beds) into the city via the Indonesian Air Force. The goods are expected to reach the capitol by May 2nd.
In an additional team of volunteers, Tzu Chi USA’s George Chang, Executive Director of Northeast Regional volunteers, joined the relief effort and is on his way to Nepal.
8:00PM EST – New York Tzu Chi volunteers joined the NY Nepali community for a candlelight vigil in Time Square.
As of 2 PM local time, 5,630 are officially confirmed dead with at least 11,000 injured (ACAPS). An estimated 4.2 million people are urgently in need of water, sanitation and hygiene support, and Kathmandu hospitals remain severely overwhelmed. The Nepali government estimates that over 70,000 houses have been destroyed and 530,000 have been damaged, leaving an estimated 100,000 entirely displaced.
The Tzu Chi medical team in Kathmandu uses the messaging app, LINE, to send photos of x-rays to orthopedists in Taiwan. Custom materials to treat broken bones will be ready for shipment by May 1st. A second relief team is on its way to the capitol, including 4 orthopedists and 1 anesthesiologist.
Back in Taiwan, Tzu Chi volunteers have packed an additional 2,123 boxes of supplies, including 11,270 blankets made of recycled goods, for shipment to Nepal. 7 tons of Tzu Chi’s Jing Si rice, or dehydrated rice ready to use with the addition of water, are also on the way. All materials are expected to arrive on May 2nd. Volunteers are working with locals to setup the first major distribution.
With many more still unaccounted for, today, 5,238 deaths are confirmed with over 10,350 injured (Reuters). Fresh water and shelter, like tarps and make-shift tents, still remain in short supply. Bone fractures, too, are overwhelmingly high. The Tzu Chi relief team is currently coordinating the transport of the proper supplies to treat the fractures.
After major delays, Tzu Chi volunteer Damai Lama finally reaches Kathmandu after midnight local time.
Left: A member of the Tzu Chi medical team examines an x-ray. Right: Tzu Chi volunteers assess the damage in Kathmandu.
The death toll now surpassed 5,000 (Nepal’s National Emergency Operation Center). The UN estimates that over 8 million people have been affected and that the most immediate needs are food, water, shelter, and medical care.
At 2:02 PM local time, Tzu Chi volunteers finally arrive with supplies in Kathmandu and begin planning a medical outreach.
A Nepali Tzu Chi volunteer from the San Francisco Bay area, named Damai Lama, finally got in touch with his family in Nepal. For now, they are safe. After taking a leave of absence from his job, he is now on his way to Nepal. He will join to help the Tzu Chi relief team when he arrives.
The death toll rises over 4,000 and at least another 7,000 injured.
Tzu Chi volunteers, including 10 medical professionals and 5 volunteers, depart Taiwan at 1:20 PM local time bringing emergency relief supplies and one ton of medical supplies to help approximately 1,000 people. Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport re-opens, but with major delays.
Tzu Chi establishes a Nepal Earthquake Relief Command Center in Taiwan.
Powerful aftershocks continue to strike the region. One measuring 6.7 in magnitude causes an avalanche at Mt. Everest; 18 are confirmed dead, being the single worst disaster to hit the world’s tallest mountain. At 2:15 PM local time, Kathmandu’s airport is forced to close.
Dozens of tents lie damaged after an avalanche plowed through Mount Everest base camp killing at least 18 people following the 7.9 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, 25 April 2015. Credit: EPA/AZIM AFIF
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hits Nepal. Its capitol, Kathmandu is devastated and the damage reaches as far as bordering India and China. The initial death toll is estimated at 970.