Lightning may not strike twice. Unfortunately, earthquakes do. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April was followed by hundreds of aftershocks and a second major earthquake on 12 May, measuring 7.3. These disasters have affected 8.1 million people – killing over 8,600 and injuring over 20,000 – and left 2.8 million displaced.
However, the British Red Cross was already present in Nepal, working with the Nepal Red Cross Society to deliver earthquake preparedness training and materials. This project enabled staff to respond immediately to the earthquake, mobilising 7,000 volunteers to perform vital first aid and search and rescue missions.
And in the week that the second earthquake hit, Red Cross teams helped deliver three ‘miracle’ bundles of hope to expectant survivors. 28-year-old Dolma Tamang was buried under the rubble when her house collapsed after the first earthquake. She managed to dig herself out from under the debris, despite being heavily pregnant.
“I was so worried about the baby that I did not care about my own health, even though I had wounds everywhere and had trouble breathing,” said Dolma.
Dolma’s local health clinic had been destroyed, so as she went into labour, it was the Red Cross that helped her deliver her baby boy.
“This baby being born healthy is a sign of hope and second life for our whole family. Even though we lost almost all of our belongings and live in a temporary shelter, I could not be happier and more thankful for this little miracle.”
Anu Danuwar & her baby - ©Finnish Red Cross, Mirva Helenius
Anu Danuwar’s due date was close when the earthquake struck. Thankfully, she and her family were outside when their home collapsed. The family of 11 now live in a temporary shelter. Space is limited under the tarpaulin, but they have managed to find room for one more this week; a healthy baby girl. At another Red Cross clinic, a baby was also safely delivered just hours after the second earthquake, taking the total number of new arrivals to three in one week.
In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to help survivors in Nepal rebuild their lives. Our work in Nepal is just one example of how we help people in crisis, both overseas and here in the UK. Without your ongoing support our work would not be possible. Thank you.