Where Next for Nepal?
Authors: Van Teijlingen, E.
Publisher: Huffington PostAbstract:
On 25 April 2015, Nepal was hit by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake, followed by a 6.7 aftershock. The death toll in Nepal now exceeds 8,000, with thousands more injured and/or homeless. After this first earthquake many more were in need of shelter, clean water, blankets, food, medicine and other supplies. To make matters worse a second major earthquake struck on 12 May. This was nearly as powerful as the first one (7.4 in magnitude).
We still do not know the number of causalities in remote rural areas from the first earthquake. The new damage from the second earthquake to Nepal's infrastructure (roads, power cables, telephone masts, and internet links) means that the initial relief efforts will suffer a set-back.
We know from previous disasters in low-income countries such as Nepal that help will be slower to reach rural areas. We fear, with two earthquakes in relatively quick succession, the worst is yet to come for many poor people living in remote villages. Infrastructure in rural Nepal is rudimentary and government services, like health posts, are patchy. The health service provision was unreliable particularly in these areas, where access was hard even at the best of times.