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Xinhua News Agency/REX
World News

Christian charities respond to Nepal's second quake

by Hannah Tooley

The quake measuring 7.3 magnitude struck northwest of the country's capital in a remote mountainous area, triggering landslides and toppling buildings.

It has been less than three weeks since the worst quake in decades claimed around eight-thousand lives in the region.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour, Cat Cowley, an aid worker from Catholic aid charity CAFOD working in Kathmandu said the level of destruction varies: "Some houses have been completely destroyed and but a lot of houses have been partially destroyed and they're unsafe to live in.

"And so three weeks on people are still really, really scared to go inside their houses and a lot of people are still sleeping outside."

She stressed that the monsoon is just a month away: "That's going to be really, really tough because you've got the combination of unstable land because of the earthquake, then the monsoon - there tends to be landslides during monsoon season.

"So the houses that are partially destroyed, again, are going to be really, really vulnerable to those combinations of factors."

Christian charity Tearfund also have a team are working in the region. Spokesperson Oenone Chadburn told Premier it was a big shock to everyone: "All our team are safe, which we're extremely thankful and grateful for and now we're just trying to understand the consequences of the earthquake."

She emphasised that they are waiting for more information but they expect further damage: "We are expecting significant buildings being shaken and possible landslides and possibly even more areas that are directly affected."


Christian Aid is also working in Nepal. Its emergency programme officer Yeeshu Shukla, was already in the country to help co-ordinate relief efforts after the first earthquake.

He said: "For a moment, I felt that the building I was in would come down.

"We rushed out.

"Everyone was out on the street, some of them panicking, with mothers screaming, looking for their children. There were four or five severe after-shocks and some buildings collapsed.

"Travelling later towards Kathmandu the roads were lined with people too scared to re-enter buildings, with heaps of rubble where some had structures had collapsed.

"Now the race is to get relief through to the worst hit areas - clothing and other essentials. There is a shortage of drivers, however, many of whom have returned to their homes to be with their families."

Since the first earthquake struck, Christian Aid has worked through partner organisations in Nepal distributing blankets, tarpaulins, food, water purification equipment and water purification tablets to communities struggling to rebuild their lives.

The Disasters Emergency Committee in Britain yesterday announced its appeal for Nepal earthquake victims had raised more than £50million.

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speaking to Cat Cowely in Nepal here.

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley interview with Oenone Chadburn from Tearfund here:

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