A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal in the late morning of April 25 just 50 miles northwest of the capital, Kathmandu, toppling buildings and homes, causing widespread panic, and claiming more than 3,900 lives. The devastation and toll on human life is still becoming clear as rescue workers access the affected areas and people.
Our Church mourns the terrible suffering of our brothers and sisters affected by this powerful earthquake. The earthquake struck the Kathmandu valley, which is densely populated with nearly 2.5 million people. Tens of thousands of families are sleeping outside in Kathmandu and require shelter and protection from the cold and relentless rain, which has worsened conditions. Aftershocks continue— one reaching 6.7 magnitude and another 5.4 magnitude—increasing fear, causing further damage to buildings, and interrupting rescue operations. Most markets in Kathmandu are closed. People urgently need basic essentials. Shelter, blankets, safe water, food, medical care, hygiene and counseling are priorities. Hygiene and sanitation are critical to preventing waterborne diseases.
To this end, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, President of the United States Catholic Conference, has requested that a second collection be taken up for our affected brothers and sisters as soon as possible. These funds will be used to support the efforts of Catholic Relief Services (our official international humanitarian agency) as we respond to immediate emergency needs for such necessities as water, food, shelter and medical care as well as the long-term needs to rebuild the communities in the regions affected after widespread destruction.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has already begun to embark on a major emergency response to this severe disaster and has committed funds to extended relief efforts. CRS is providing 10,000 families (50,000 people) with emergency shelter materials, blankets, water treatment and hygiene kits. Given the scale of the disaster, the agency expects to expand relief activities to additional families. CRS is working with Caritas Nepal to identify the most pressing needs in the hardest hit districts between Kathmandu and Pokhara, and will scale operations accordingly.
If you would like to contribute online, you may do so here.
Or you can mail a check to the Chancery Office with the "Nepal Earthquake" on the memo line. Their address is 100 E. Eighth St. Cincinnati, OH 45202