Nepal - The first efforts to remove debris from rubble-choked Chautara, Nepal, began Wednesday (13/5), as new supplies of IOM shelter and hygiene kits began arriving.
Just 24 hours after a powerful new earthquake levelled numerous buildings in the capital of Sindhupalchok district, 20 local men equipped with hard hats, picks, shovels and crowbars provided by IOM tackled the collapsed shell of the District Agricultural Office near the town’s bazaar, a site identified by the town’s mayor as a priority.
“We’d planned to start earlier in the week with the laborers and a contractor with an excavator and dump truck clearing out a one-kilometer stretch of the main street along the ridge, where so many of the buildings collapsed during the April earthquake,” says Bruce Rasmussen, who is leading IOM’s hub operations in Chautara.
“After Tuesday’s 7.3 magnitude quake we thought we would have to put it on hold, but first thing the next morning, the local officials said there was an urgent need to move forward, so we mobilized quickly and put the men to work.”
Local authorities now say that at least 20 buildings along the narrow ridgeline where the bulk of Chautara’s roughly 6,000 residents live were destroyed in Tuesday’s earthquake. Much of the town centre remains unstable at this time, with buildings threatening to tumble into the ravines on either side.
This latest earthquake killed more than 125 people, pushing the death toll since an 8.0 magnitude earthquake on April 25 to over 8,400.
IOM’s Chautara hub is being used as the platform to deliver desperately needed aid into hard-to-reach areas of Sindhupalchok.
Late Wednesday evening three IOM trucks loaded with more than 1,500 shelter and hygiene kits arrived in Chautara.