Second Earthquake Strikes Nepal

May 12, 2015
Photo by Crystal Wells

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake has struck Nepal about 185 miles north of Kathmandu in a remote area near Mount Everest.

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A 7.3-magnitude earthquake on May 12th is the second to strike Nepal since the 7.8-magnitude quake on April 25th killed more than 7,000 people and devastated the region.

Quick Facts about the May 12th Earthquake

  • A major earthquake has struck western Nepal, two weeks after a devastating quake killed more than 7,000 people.
  • This latest quake hit near the town of Namche Bazar near Mount Everest.
  • The US Geological Survey said it had a magnitude of 7.3. The earthquake on April 25th, centered in east Nepal, had a magnitude of 7.8.
  • The latest tremor was felt as far away as the capital of India, Delhi, as well as Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

Concern’s Response

Concern’s team on the ground is undertaking a new assessment of the damage in order to respond to this recent earthquake. Reports are already coming in that landslides have cut off roads, making remote communities inaccessible.

In response to the April 25th earthquake, Concern has been focusing on clean water systems, hygiene supplies, and shelter and has been working with two former local partner organizations, Rural Reconstruction Nepal and Nepal Water for Health. Concern worked in Nepal from 2005 to 2010.

Villagers gather in an open clearing

Villagers gather in an open clearing near Bhirkot in Dolakha district, Nepal after a major tremor rocked the area on May 12th.

This latest earthquake will undoubtedly result in the need for additional shelter resources, as previously damaged homes have been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable and the upcoming monsoon season is nearing. The psychological element also cannot be downplayed. The people of Nepal experienced a serious trauma only two weeks ago, and this event has made everyone extremely nervous.

Firsthand Reports from Concern’s Response Team

“I’ve been on the ground two weeks today, leading the Concern team’s response to the earthquake of April 25th,” Ros O’Sullivan, Concern’s emergency team leader on the ground, reported. “We’ve experienced tremors almost daily, nightly even… There hasn’t been anything that’s had people running out of doors. However, this one was big. It started off as a low rumbling and then buildings started shaking… Everyone went outdoors. Everyone was fearful. It’s only in the last few days that people have felt comfortable about going back indoors at night.”

A woman sobs after a major aftershock rocked Nepal

A woman cries after a major aftershock rocked Nepal on Tuesday, May 12th.

Kieran McConville, who is with another section of Concern’s emergency team in a remote area of the countryside, said, “We were standing on the side of a hill in Bhirkot when the earthquake happened. In the valley below, I could see dust rising from the houses as they were collapsing. The earthquake two weeks ago damaged those houses and this one destroyed them. The villagers are now sitting in an open space in a field very afraid and nightfall is approaching. There have been five big new earthquakes and several aftershocks in the last few hours. Right now, we’re surrounded by landslides, limiting our ability to move around.”

Crystal Wells was with Kieran when the tremor hit. She said, “the ground didn’t just shake, it rocked. On the hillside across from us, you could see sudden puffs of dust — people’s houses collapsing.” Read more.

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