The death toll resulting from Saturday’s 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Nepal, including a 6.7-magnitude aftershock a day later, is climbing towards the 4,000 victim mark. Nearly 7,000 injuries have also been reported, including in neighboring India and the Tibetan regions of China and Bangladesh.
“The most worrying thing to me is the aftereffect,” Samaj Gautam, a doctor in Kathmandu, told The New York Times. “Sanitation, disease, these are also serious worries.”
Several Jewish and Israeli organizations have mobilized to provide support for the local population, as well as the 2,000 Israelis currently in Nepal, 100 of whom are still unaccounted for, Haaretz reports.
This morning, an 80-member delegation from the Israeli government set out for Nepal, where they will soon be joined by another 170 military personnel.
“During the next two weeks, the IDF search and rescue teams will be deployed near Kathmandu to locate survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings,” the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on its website. “A field hospital will also be set up within 12 hours of arrival to provide medical services for the local population. It will have two operating rooms, four intensive-care rooms, 80 hospital beds and specialists in neonatal and adult care.”
Magen David Adom touched down on Sunday morning bearing medicine and baby formula. ZAKA, an Israeli organization whose mission is to recover the bodies of victims of terror attacks and natural disasters, is on the ground too. Tevel B’Tzedek, an Israeli non-profit which runs leadership training and community-building programs in Nepal, is working to assist local communities, reunite families, and provide support for tourists and locals.
Rabbi Chezki and Chani Lifshitz of Chabad House of Kathmandu are working around the clock to provide support to those in need.
“Kathmandu looks like a ghost town,” Lifshitz wrote on Facebook. “Our electricity, phone service and water have been cut off, and little by little, our staples are running out.” Despite these conditions, Lifshitz wrote on Sunday that Chabad is “serving hot meals to all comers every hour on the hour.”
American organizations, including the Joint Distribution Committee and the American Jewish World Service, have also set up emergency relief funds.
To support these organizations—and several others doing excellent work in the region—refer to the links below: