May 19, 2015 — In-kind materials, generously donated by corporate partners, are currently being prepped at the OpUSA warehouse in Port of LA for shipment to partner organizations in Nepal. Thanks to all those who have donated so far, including: United Airlines, Cascade Designs (Therma-a-Rest, MSR, Platypus, SealLine, and Packtowl), Servicon Systems, Inc., Owens & Minor, Pelican Products, Helly Hansen, Zephyr Graf-X, Microbroo LLC, Investment Technology Group, Inc., American Apparel and Vans. Photos from the OpUSA warehouse are now available on Facebook here.
May 12, 2015 — A second earthquake reported as a magnitude 7.3 struck Nepal on Tuesday, furthering damage and causing additional loss of life in already distresed communities. The quake was centered about 76km (47 miles) east of Kathmandu, in a rural area close to the Chinese border, and was felt in rural Tibet, Bangladesh and India. Early reports state that 31 of Nepal’s 75 districts were affected by the earthquake. Aftershocks as high as magnitude 5.0 continued to rock the country as of Tuesday, and multiple landslides have also been reported. This latest earthquake makes relief and recovery efforts even more urgent at this time, and OpUSA will continue to deliver emergency grants and in-kind supplies as early and often as opportunities allow.
May 4, 2015 — Operation USA has confirmed it will make an emergency cash grant (via partner organization Brother’s Brother Foundation) to Himalayan Healthcare to aid in earthquake recovery. The major grant will fund the local purchase of medical supplies for health facilities damaged in last weekend’s magnitude 7.8 quake.
May 27, 2015 — On Saturday April 25, 2015 a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck central Nepal. The tremor was followed by several aftershocks registering as high as magnitude 6.7, and additional aftershocks are still expected this week.
The UN estimates 8 million people may be affected by the earthquake across 39 of the country’s 75 districts. The most severely affected areas include Bhaktapur, Dhading, Dolakha, Kathmandu, Kavre, Lalitpur, Nuwakot, Ramechhap, Rasuwa, and Sindulpalchowk districts in Nepal’s Central Region, as well as Gorkha District in Nepal’s Western Region.
As of May 14, the death toll had climbed above 8,000. An estimated 14,000 are reported as injured and thousands more are still unaccounted for. Experts predict the death toll could continue to climb as high as 10,000 as search and recovery efforts continue.
With thousands of villages destroyed, reports state that 90% of clinics and schools in the affected areas have been rendered unusable, further compounding already challenging conditions for treating the injured. The full extent of the damage is not yet known as recovery workers and aid groups have yet to reach the most remote areas of the country.
Humanitarian aid response to the area is in progress by many organizations but is moving slowly as groups face challenges coordinating logistics for delivery of relief supplies to the country. Damage caused by the quake, in addition to logistical bottlenecks including road closures, collapsed bridges, and poor airport conditions are causing chaos and making it difficult to get aid into the country.
According to the UN:
One week following the quake, Nepal’s main airport was closed to large aircraft delivering aid due to runway damage. However, officials say conditions are improving.
Some reports also highlight widespread fear of disease and sickness as a result of post-earthquake conditions.
Earthquake survivors in several areas of Nepal, many of whom have been rendered homeless, have turned to the media to express anguish and disappointment as they continue to await the arrival of much-needed relief supplies.
Operation USA, like many other aid groups, is currently working hard to coordinate the logistics of delivering shipments to the affected area. As soon as time and circumstances allow, we will deliver much-needed hospital supplies and equipment as well as other material aid and in-kind supplies currently being donated by partners. Operation USA will also make a long-term commitment to the people of Nepal and will work in the country for the foreseeable future as recovery efforts continue.
As of Friday, May 8, Operation USA had made an emergency cash grant to Himalayan Healthcare (via partner organization Brother’s Brother) to aid with recovery. The OpUSA warehouse is also awaiting in-bound shipments of much-needed and generously donated in-kind supplies from corporate partners. Shipments from LA to Nepal will be underway within a few weeks.
As of May 27, OpUSA had raised over $555,000 and continues to seek financial support from the public as much more is needed to make long-term recovery efforts possible. Donated funds will be allocated as quickly as possible as emergency grants to partner organizations and groups on the ground who are working to directly implement relief and recovery programs in communities affected by the earthquake. Donations also support the shipment of relief supplies to Nepal.
Ram Sharan Mahat, the Nepalese finance minister, has said at least $2 billion (£1.3 billion) will be needed to rebuild homes, hospitals, government offices and historic buildings. Other estimates are even higher.
The most effective way people can assist relief efforts in Nepal is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations. Donate to Operation USA at give.opusa.org.
Cash donations are preferred because they allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, and warehouse space); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietary, and environmentally appropriate assistance. (Source: USAID)
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