A 6.4-magnitude earthquake(1) struck western Nepal on November 3, 2023.
157 deaths, 256 injuries reported
Jajarkot and Rukum West districts in the Western hills of Karnali Province in Nepal were hit badly by the midnight earthquake. 157 deaths were reported, whereas 256 people sustained injuries(2) in Jajarkot and Rukum West districts in the Western hills of Karnali Province in Nepal. While the number of injured people is still increasing, the search for survivors has officially been called off. The assessment of the situation so far has shown that more than 900 houses are fully destroyed and an additional 3,000 are damaged. The Nepalese Government has officially requested international support. Access to humanitarian aid is difficult because roads are blocked by landslides.
HI’s intervention in affected areas
Among the 32 international NGOs involved in the emergency response, HI is the only organization providing physical rehabilitation services.
HI has deployed its emergency team with shelter kits and assistive devices (walkers, crutches, etc). The team comprises three physical therapists, one ortho-prosthetist, and one logistics and field officer, who will be supporting the local health services in coordination with the Nepalese authorities in the affected areas. HI's response will focus on providing physical rehabilitation and adapted assistive devices.
Over 1,100 pounds of assistive devices have already been flown into the field, thanks to a local aircraft company, Buddha Air. These include crutches and braces that can help people with disabilities and new injuries in remote and inaccessible areas.
This first team will soon be supported by other HI Nepalese colleagues specializing in inclusion, to provide targeted assistance to women and people with disabilities. Women and children are the main victims of this disaster, as many of them were at home when the earthquake struck, while their husbands were away working in other regions or neighboring countries.
Nepal: a country prone to earthquakes
Nepal has always been prone to earthquakes and has previously suffered bigger earthquakes, both in terms of intensity and damage they caused.
An earthquake in April 2015 claimed nearly 9,000 lives. HI's teams, working in Nepal since 2000, also launched an emergency response to assist the victims at that time. HI teams continue to provide long-term support to survivors, such as Sandesh, Khendo and Nirmala who were severely injured.
Meanwhile, experts and seismologists have warned of bigger earthquakes and asked all concerned to prepare for such events. For the last few years, earthquakes of lower intensity have frequently been hitting the hill districts in the Sudurpaschim and Karnali provinces.
This new earthquake highlights the urgent need for disaster preparedness and risk reduction measures and led to increased awareness and action. HI has developed a significant number of projects in Nepal to support people and help them prepare for natural disasters.
1. According to the Nepal's Monitoring and Research center, 5,6 according to the US Geological Survey
2. According to the Situation Report produced by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority