Help from international community has started arriving as the airport in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal reopened after the devastating earthquake on Saturday, April 25. With more than 2,500 confirmed dead and thousands still missing, there is still hope that many survivors can be rescued in the nick of time by acting fast. That is the reason why Sunday, April 26, aid agencies and many governments from around the world have rushed their rescue teams consisting volunteers, doctors, and rescue staff along with equipment to Nepal.
Apart from rescuing people who are stranded or are still fighting for survival, prevention of the spread of any disease is of the prime importance as mentioned by the UN spokesperson Orla Fagan. She also confirmed that she would be heading to Nepal shortly. Fagan said that at the moment, 14 medical teams and around 15 search and rescue teams from all over the world are on their way. They would be using military aircrafts that will help them get to the location as soon as possible. As per the latest reports, UN warned that vaccines were short in supply and the fear of measles outbreak was recorded. Diarrhea has also become an issue in the region.
It has been reported that help has arrived as the international airport in Kathmandu was reopened and is operational again after the catastrophic Nepal earthquake. This will prove as a great relief for sending help and support though the logistical difficulties remain. Flights were also delayed as the aftershocks continued to be felt. Some of the aid vehicles from the international community were able to land at the neighboring airport in India and reach the Nepalese city of Pokhara, which is very close to the epicenter.
Ben Pickering, Humanitarian Advisor for Save the Children, said that this could mean that all supplies could be routed to Nepal through India and claimed that this was a positive sign. He called the opening of the airport a miracle in the middle of catastrophic destruction in Nepal. He did however caution that the conditions would get chaotic and create a bottleneck as international help with supplies and personnel starts pouring in. The Chief of UNICEF said Sunday, April 26, that close to one million children have been affected by the earthquake in the region and need immediate help and humanitarian assistance. The staff of UNICEF has reported recurring communications breakdowns, power shortages, as well as dwindling water supplies.
Pickering also said that information about the conditions at the earthquake’s exact epicenter is still limited. From now on, they would work towards getting access to the epicenter and rescue people who are stranded in that region. They would be using helicopters but clarity about the strategy and capabilities is still pending. Save the Children has pre-positioned emergency kits in three different locations in Nepal and they first plan to distribute buckets, bedding, along with other basic supplies to 2,000 families around the earthquake zone. Help from various countries around the world like the U.S., Canada, Israel, European Nations, and various communities has arrived in Nepal as Kathmandu international airport has been reopened after the devastating Nepal earthquake.
By Ankur Sinha
Photo by Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi / UNDP Nepal-Creativecommons Flickr License