MSF Responds to Second Earthquake in Nepal

Jean Pletinckx/MSF

Following a first earthquake on April 25, a second earthquake hit Nepal on May 12, this one with an epicenter 80 kilometers [about 50 miles] east of Kathmandu, in Dolakha district. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams are conducting assessments in the affected areas, including Dolakha itself, and have already seen some villages in the Charikot area that were destroyed by this second quake.

An additional MSF team is conducting an assessment by car in Bhaktapur, east of Kathmandu, while other MSF medical teams have split up and are visiting various hospitals in Kathmandu, ready to intervene immediately if necessary.

This comes as Nepal struggles to recover from the substantial damage caused by the April 25 earthquake, which killed more than 8,000 people.

"This complicates an already precarious situation," says MSF Country Director Dan Sermand. "There is going to be more trouble accessing the affected areas. MSF is strengthening its emergency operations and re-assessing the needs of those affected by the current earthquake in order to respond accordingly and immediately."

For the past two weeks, MSF teams have been providing medical assistance and distributing food and shelter to remote areas impacted by the previous earthquake. MSF has also set up an inflatable hospital in Arughat, in Gorkha district, which is serving the population affected by the first earthquake.

Learn More about MSF's Response to the Nepal Earthquake

After doing a health and damage assessment, an MSF team is setting up a clinic in Dhading district, a heavily affected area in the mountains to the north-west of Kathmandu, which is only reachable by helicopter and where little or no assistance has reached. While the most critically injured people were evacuated in the days immediately after the earthquake, those remaining have been trapped in their villages as roads and walking tracks have been cut off by avalanches and landslides. MSF's teams are seeing people in need of basic healthcare, as well as a number of people presenting with wounds sustained in the earthquake that have now become infected. The team will work to spread the word in the surrounding villages that people can now come to the clinic to receive care.
Jean Pletinckx/MSF