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Nepal Region Earthquake Update - 3 months on

Thank you - we're so very grateful for your help.

When a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit on 25 April our most experienced aid workers were on their way to Nepal within hours of the quake. Even so, we knew there was no way to get there fast enough to save lives.

One of the first tasks was to get help to villages closest to the earthquake's epicentre. But rubble made the roads impassable and landslides blocked our way to the mountains. Nepal Red Cross volunteers had to travel by foot, sometimes a 10-hour journey across treacherous terrain, carrying supplies on their backs.

It was a mammoth task. But because of you, we had the funds to carry it out.

And when a 7.3 aftershock hit two weeks later our field hospitals filled to bursting with new patients, and our relief teams swung back into action.

We're now in a race against time to get supplies to the most remote villages of Nepal, before the heavy rains and the brutal winter set in.

The Red Cross Relief Effort

A heart-rending choice

Nepal Red Cross volunteers climb over the rubble of homes to offer help to thousands affected by the 25 April earthquake.

When his house started shaking, Bijay Dahal knew he had to get his family to open ground. But with no time to spare, the Nepal Red Cross staff member was faced with a heart-rending decision.

"As I was running down the stairs with my boys, my elderly parents were clinging to each other in the bedroom," he said. "My dad is 79 and paralysed - my mother will not leave his side."

"In that moment, I had to make a choice - to get my kids to safety or stay with my parents. My mum told me to go."

Bijay's eldest son, who is 15 and has Down's Syndrome, was begging his dad to save his grandparents but the disaster expert knew he couldn't do both. "I am normally my son's protector, his friend. But in that moment, I had to shout and drag him out - I could see the confusion in his face. That was very painful," Bijay said.

Wearing his motorbike helmet, Bijay plunged back into the house for his parents, "It was amazing to find them both okay."

In the following days, the family was forced to sleep outdoors as aftershocks made nearby buildings unsafe. But Bijay went straight back to work - there were more people to help.

Being prepared helps save lives

Before any international aid arrived, local Red Cross volunteers like Sammeer were on the scene, helping their neighbours evacuate and providing first aid.

These tragedies have shown, once again, how vital it is to have trained emergency response teams, warehouses stocked with relief supplies, and well-considered evacuation plans and disaster drills. It makes a life-or-death difference when disaster strikes.

We were working with Nepal Red Cross months before the earthquake, to train local disaster response teams.

This meant that volunteers like Sammeer Bajracharya knew what to do. As soon as the tremors subsided, Sammeer was out helping his neighbours.

"There was a woman who was trapped in the rubble," he told us later. "One of her legs had been crushed by a falling building. We worked with the rescue teams and did our best to give her first aid, but unfortunately we couldn't save her."

Reaching those most affected

Radhika*, aged 13, lost her home in the 7.3 magnitude aftershock that hit Dolakha district on 12 May. "Every day I'm afraid there will be another earthquake," she says. Red Cross is helping people recover emotionally by offering psychological first aid and setting up child-friendly spaces for children to play, feel safe and work through their fears. *Name changed to protect privacy.
Dependra and his mother Mya used to live in a five-storey home built on a patch of land the size of two single car parks. When the earthquake destroyed the house, Mya pulled Dependra out of the rubble. Red Cross provided them with large tents which enable Dependra to move around in his wheelchair, as well as water and sanitation facilities.
Often ostracised by their relatives, the Nepalese LGBTIQ group Blue Diamond Society have formed their own beautiful family to help each other survive and cope. Red Cross met them after the earthquake

Aid worker Jess Letch met these families in Kathmandu. Listen to her first-hand account in our How Aid Works podcast.

Please support our ongoing work

We can't stop disasters from coming but we CAN take steps to protect lives and livelihoods.

Please donate to our disaster relief and recovery work and provide valuable support to our emergency services staff and volunteers as they prepare, respond and provide support to communities during and after disasters. You will know your donation has made an important contribution to our work whenever you see a Red Cross Emergency Services team in action.

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