Devastating news from Nepal with over 1000 deaths reported and counting. My thoughts and prayers are with all my friends there.
The Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre in Bhainsepati looks to be OK. No casualties there and patients and staff are sleeping outside in tents tonight given the continuing aftershocks.
Other friends in the Kathmandu Valley are also OK, I am so grateful. But I still have to hear from a few in Bhaktapur where there has been much damage to buildings, and to hear from climber friends who are on Everest currently. Reports say there are continuing avalanches on Pumori and Everest and the icefall (route from base camp to Camp 1) is badly damaged making it difficult to get down the mountain. Please God they are OK.
I am getting reports from friends on the ground in Kathmandu and the Banepa area that there has been significant damages to buildings and to the infrastructure (which was not great to begin with). Potable water and access to food will be a big issue over the coming days. The hospitals are inundated with casualties. The death toll continues to rise. A state of emergency has been announced. Nepal will need all the help they can get.
As expected from the wonderful Nepalese people, they are joining hands to help one another. I am hearing reports of people clearing away fallen buildings with their bare hands and I see on facebook there is a call out for medical staff, engineers etc to gather and mobilize support teams to help with the relief. Over 400 have signed up in the space of half an hour! And the number is climbing.
Teams of people are preparing food to keep the police, casualties and volunteers watered and fed across the city of Kathmandu. Wish I could be there to help.
The mobile network seems to be working and Nepal Telecom are allowing free calls on their network so people can connect with family and friends. Kudos to Nepal Telecom!
Dr Raju (doctor at SIRC currently furthering his education in Dhaka) is co-ordinating many SCI experts from around the world to come to Nepal. So supportive.