Earthquake in Nepal - Oxfam is there

Today, at midday local time, an estimated 7.9 magnitude earthquake shook Nepal, near the capital, Katmandu. Oxfam's team in Nepal is assessing humanitarian need following the devastating earthquake. In addition, a team of technical experts is arriving with supplies to provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food supplies.

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Cecilia Keizer, Oxfam country director in Nepal said:

"Communication is currently very difficult. Telephone lines are down and the electricity has been cut off making charging mobile phones difficult. The water is also cut off.  The number of people killed is continuing to rise. Many of the old houses have been destroyed and at least one large apartment block has come down in Kathmandu. Given the closeness to the epicenter Pokhara must also be badly affected. Oxfam is preparing to help provide clean water and emergency food. People are gathered in their thousands in open spaces and are scared as there have been several aftershocks." We also intend to send teams from neighboring India.

It is reported to be Nepal’s deadliest earthquake for more than 80 years.

Oxfam staff in Nepal, along with thousands of others, are sleeping outside tonight in football fields and other open spaces because they are the safest place to be.

There were reports of tremors across the region, as far afield as Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. It’s reported the earthquake has caused extensive damage in the Himalayan nation, including avalanches on Mount Everest.

Oxfam has been responding to floods and landslides in Nepal since 1993 and includes earthquake scenario planning in all contingency plans. We have pre-existing agreements with suppliers as well as pre-positioned stocks.

Oxfam India Deputy Director & Humanitarian Response Manager Zubin Zaman is available for interviews.India - Gunjan Jain on 0091 9811 777387Australia - Laurelle Keough on 0425 701 801 or laurellek@oxfam.org.auUK - Lisa Rutherford: +44 7917 791 836.

For updates, please follow @Oxfam.

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This entry posted by Joel Bassuk, Oxfam Social Media Manager, on 25 April 2015.

Photo: People search for survivors stuck under the rubble of a destroyed building, after a 7.9-magnitude earthquake earthquake caused serious damage in Kathmandu, Nepal, 25 April 2015. Credit: EPA/Narendra Shrestha

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