A 6.4 magnitude earthquake jolted mid-west Nepal late night of 3rd November, 2023 affecting mostly people in West Rukum and Jajarkot. Since this occurred at the dead of night, it resulted in many deaths and injury. Due to the traditional housing materials used in such remote rural areas of Nepal, many houses sustained severe damages.
According to official government figures, 153 people have sadly died and another 364 were injured in the quake. Over 26,000 buildings have been ‘fully damaged’ and more than 34,000 others ‘partly damaged’ across the two districts that were worst affected, namely Jajarkot and West Rukum.
HDCS’s Chaurjahari Hospital, situated in West Rukum, escaped any serious damage and began to receive the injured within the immediate hours. Our dedicated hospital staff, supported by a medical team from the Nepal Army and another from the Nepal Police Force, worked 24 hours a day to treat the injured and traumatized. 150 people were treated at the hospital and 15 others were firstly stabilized and then referred to bigger hospitals, transported either by army helicopter, or by ambulance, including our own ambulance.
HDCS has been preparing for such serious events and with disaster stock in the hospital and at HDCS HQ in Kathmandu, we were able to mobilize emergency relief and rescue supplies immediately.
Since Saturday morning (November 4th) we have been distributing relief supplies to affected communities. So far, we have directly distributed food and other items to 500 households. These supplies have included tarpaulins, blankets and soap, along with rice, lentils, salt and cooking oil. On top of that, we have donated blankets and tarpaulins to local government offices for them to distribute and have also been supporting other organizations in their relief programs.
As well as the work in the hospital, a small medical team of a paramedic, nurses and medical officers have gone into the worst affected remote areas to help the injured. As we write, the team is in the Athbiskot area – a badly affected in West Rukum.
The next few days, HDCS will continue to assess the needs in the communities and the HQ team will be working closely with the staff on ground to chart long-term recovery plans for the affected communities.
We deeply appreciate your support and prayers at this difficult time.