By Kathleen Hendricks reporting from Nepal for the ASSIST News Service
KATHMANDU, NEPAL (ANS – May 13, 2015) — Three weeks after Nepal was rocked with a huge 7.9 earthquake, a 7.4 one followed on Tuesday, (May 12), reigniting fears and terror in the Himalayan nation. The epicenter for the latest one was in a rugged area of the district of Dolakha, east of the capital, Kathmandu.
The April 25th quake proved to be a serious challenge for the nation, affecting almost one third of the population. Now, the second quake has people reeling as some were beginning to repair their homes and move back in. Others whose homes were like Pastor Lokendra Malla’s, without substantial damage in the first quake are now broken apart.
Pragun Maharajan, dentist says his house was so severely damaged in the first quake that the government forbids the family from returning. They spent 14 days living in a tent, most of those days with very little food and water. The Maharajan family made the best of it, helping their neighbors and sharing Jesus with fellow campers.
On Friday, Maharajan said, “We have found a little place and today we are allowed to enter our house to remove our belongings!” However, that hope is now dashed with yesterday’s earthquake. He spends his days rescuing people as the medical facility where he works is now closed due to earthquake damage.
He says, “Medical care is a big challenge now.” In just a few hours after yesterday’s quake 40 people are reported dead and 1200 injured.
Pastor Kris Maharajan’s church was slowly eroding from cracks from the April earthquake, now it’s much worse. Maharajan says, “We thank God for the opportunity to share the gospel with the people inside the camp and others who used the church for shelter.”
The Christian community near Gorkha, the epicenter of the April quake is delivering food to the Gorkha area since the day after the quake for about 10 days.
“We are pleased that we are able to get some relief in there to the people,” says Raju Adhikari, Director, Asal Chimikee Nepal.
“We were blessed to be able to reach this remote village in Dhading district last week as they suffer without food for over 10 days, says MK Henderson, Director of Brand New Images. “The roads were very difficult to maneuver so Nepal or India army had not been there to give aid.
Many people commented that both earthquakes felt like “a boat on rough seas”, and it seemed like yesterday’s lasted a long time.
CNN is reporting that Nepali Home Ministry spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said Wednesday morning that at least 76 people in his country had been killed. The number of injured stood at 1,986, he said. Dozens of people were rescued alive from rubble, according to officials.
Another 17 people were reported dead from the quake in India, and one person in China.
“Nepal was already struggling to deal with the aftermath of the devastating magnitude-7.8 earthquake that struck the Himalayan nation on April 25, killing more than 8,000 people and flattening entire villages,” said CNN.
‘The land has cracked open’
“This week’s quake brought buildings damaged by the earlier disaster crashing to the ground and released a new surge of panic among shell-shocked Nepalis.”
“The land has cracked open in many places, many people don’t even have a spot to put their tents,” said Krishna Siwakoti, a farmer who lives near the epicenter.
“The situation is dire. We are isolated,” he told CNN, saying the quake had set off landslides “all around us.”
In Kathmandu, where temples and apartment buildings collapsed in April, the new quake caused more damage to more structures and sent many terrified residents flooding out into the streets.
“Once again, encampments of tents sprung up in open areas around the city as people opted to sleep outside rather than risk more tremors from continuing aftershocks. Others, their homes destroyed, had no choice,” added CNN.
Photo captions: 1) Injured receive medical treatment in tents and outside (Brand New Images). 2) Maharajan Church family (Photo: Brand New Images) 3) People forced to sleep in tents (Brand New Images) 4) Food distribution (Brand New Images).
About the writer: Kathleen Hendricks is a freelance writer living in SE Asia, member of International Press Association.
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