Continued support

The people of Nepal continue to endure unimaginable suffering, as a second earthquake struck the region on May 12th. The death toll from the April 25th 7.8-magnitude earthquake has surpassed 8,500 with officials saying that number could reach 10,000 as aid workers continue to search through the rubble. More than 250,000 people have been left homeless as well.

As mentioned, a second major quake on May 12th, with a magnitude of 7.3, struck 76 kms east of the capital Kathmandu, as people were struggling to recover from the first earthquake. The death toll from the two quakes now stands at an estimated 8,583.

Dozens are still missing as well, officials say.

The previous deadliest earthquake to strike the country in 1934, killed at least 8,519 in Nepal, as well as thousands more in neighbouring India.

Nepal is a country that has struggled with high unemployment, poverty and hunger for many years, making these events all the more devastating.

Here at home, the Red Deer Rotary Clubs are fundraising for ShelterBox – an organization that responds to disasters around the world. The program helps families survive in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

ShelterBoxes are packages that contain a family tent, blankets, water purification, cooking utensils, a stove, a toolkit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items. ShelterBox response team volunteers deliver the goods to victims of disasters. For more information, check out www.shelterboxcanada.org.

On an international scale, organizations are working to help bring order back to the region. The Canadian Red Cross is still active onsite as well. Before the second earthquake officials were providing services in two remote locations – with members in Dhunche and in Khukondole. However, the team in Khukondole has been evacuated until further notice due to road closures that made it difficult and unsafe to reach patients or for patients to reach the unit. The Canadian Red Cross is now considering returning in a mobile configuration.

Red Deerians are encouraged to support those impacted by making a donation to the Canadian Red Cross Nepal Region Earthquake Fund at www.redcross.ca, by calling 1-800-418-1111 or by contacting the local Canadian Red Cross office. The Canadian Government will match eligible donations through to May 25th.

Also, the Salvation Army’s International Emergency Services team is currently working in Nepal to support local officials and assess how best the Salvation Army can respond in partnership with other agencies already on the ground.

The Salvation Army officially opened its work in Nepal in April 2009.

For information on how to help, check out www.salvationarmy.ca/2015/04/27/nepal-disaster-relief.

We urge Red Deerians to give what they can – even in these tough economic times. It is hard to imagine the hardships in Nepal and every little bit helps.

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