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Islamic Relief to help Nepalese families struggling to survive winter cold after earthquake destroyed homes

Islamic Relief is to provide lifesaving aid in Nepal, where 2 powerful earthquakes have killed at least 157 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

On Friday night a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck remote communities in western Nepal. With its epicentre in Jajarkot district, the quake was so powerful that tremors were felt over 300 miles away in the capital city, Kathmandu, and in neighbouring India.

Homes collapsed, burying terrified families. Hundreds of people were injured, packing the district hospital, with some casualties needing to be airlifted to Kathmandu for treatment.

Said to be the country’s worst earthquake in 8 years, the disaster was followed just days later by another strong earthquake. Striking on Monday 6 November, the quake measured 5.6 magnitude on the Richter scale.

The latest reports from the Nepalese government are that over 35,300 houses have been fully or partially destroyed in the hardest-hit districts. A staggering 1.3 million people have been affected, according to United Nations estimates, which indicate that around 250,000 people may need humanitarian aid.

Challenging conditions for rescue and relief efforts

Efforts to reach survivors in the remote communities at the centre of this disaster are being hampered by roads blocked by landslides, and rugged, often mountainous terrain.

The wintry weather is also threatening the survival of families who now have only damaged homes or makeshift shelters to protect them from the elements. Islamic Relief is alarmed by reports that some are forced to spend their nights outdoors in the cold.

Strong aftershocks are continuing to add to the number of casualties and are inflicting further damage in communities already reeling from the quakes.

Islamic Relief has been working in Nepal since 2015, when we began providing lifesaving aid just a week after a massive earthquake killed 9,000 people. We are now launching an emergency response to this latest disaster, focusing first on getting winter kits to hundreds of families. Distributed through our local partner, Rural Development Centre, the survival kits include blankets, tents, and warm clothes.

Stay up to date on our life-saving work in Nepal and beyond during emergencies and visit our Crisis Watch page.

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