The United States(US), India, Norway, Great Britain, Germany, Pakistan and China, have mobilized relief teams and aid to Nepal following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the country early Saturday, killing some 2,220 people thus far and injuring more than 5,000. Other relief efforts are already being coordinated by international organizations including the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Mercy Corps, Doctors Without Borders and others.
But this international effort is only the beginning of what aid Nepal will require to return to some degree of normalcy following the calamity of this 2015 earthquake. Reports indicate there has been wide spread destruction from the capital Kathmandu and stretching a diameter of more than 100 miles including the epicenter of the quake 50-miles northwest of the capital in the rural Gorkha district.
"All the open spaces in Kathmandu are packed with people who are camping outdoors. When the aftershocks come you cannot imagine the fear. You can hear women and children crying," reported Sanjay Karki, Nepal country head for the global relief agency, Mercy Corps, as reported by the Associated Press(AP). Kathmandu residents braved the chilly elements to sleep outside fearing further collapses from aftershocks of which the largest has been 6.7 magnitude.
Thus far, the death toll has reached 2,169 in Nepal, including 721 in Kathmandu; 61 in India, and fewer deaths in Bangladesh, Tibet and at the Chinese border. Avalanches triggered by the main earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks, have buried part of the base camp at Mount Everest, where some 17 deaths have been reported so far, including Google Executive, Dan Fredinburg. Another 61 injuries have been reported at Mount Everest where rescue helicopters have been evacuating Nepalese Sherpas and foreign climbers.
"We do not yet know the scope of the damage, but this could be one of the most deadliest and most devastating earthquakes since the 1934 tremor which devastated Nepal and (the Indian state of) Bihar," said Jagan Chapagain, Asia-Pacific Director of the International Federation of the Red Cross and red Crescent Societies, the BBC-News reported.
The US embassy in Nepal has pledged an initial $1 million toward relief and USAID has already dispatched search and rescue teams throughout the quake zone. US Secretary of State John Kerry informed: "We are working closely with the government of Nepal to provide assistance and support."
"The absolute priority must be to reach people who are trapped and injured, and provide shelter and protection to those who have lost their homes," British International Development Secretary Justine Greening said. Britain, along with the US and Pakistan, have sent search and rescue experts. China has sent a 62-member emergency team and India has supplied medical supplies and a 285-member relief crew. Norway has pledged $3,9 million in humanitarian aid and Germany and Spain are also sending assistance.
Hence, out of a still unfolding human tragedy, brought to wrought by the forces of nature as the Indian tectonic plate moves northward at about 1.7 inches-a-year, thus undermining the Eurasian plate, humanity is displaying an empathy for the victims of Nepal that is exemplary and fitting of civilized people.