| May 05, 2015
We just received a report from our volunteer nurse in Nepal, Sharon Tissell. Thank you for your support and prayers for our team.
"We have now been in this stunningly beautiful country of Nepal for 6 days. I had heard the news on TV like most others of the 7.8 earthquake that had hit a large swath of central Nepal, causing severe damage from mountain to plain. A few days later I was blessed to be flying with a team from MTI to provide medical care wherever there was the most unmet need.
This disaster, like every other one I have witnessed, is at best controlled chaos. Every part of life for those in the earthquake zone has been affected. There is the loss of shelter, food, health, resources, jobs, any sense of security--and on top of that, thousands have lost their loved ones. The physical, emotional, and psychological impact cannot be overstated.
The rugged steep terrain of Nepal contributed to the devastating effects of the earthquake. Small communities by large mountain sides of terraced fields had nothing with which to brace against the shaking of the Mountains. The stories we hear are hard to imagine, but I try...
Think of living on the mountainside at 5,000 feet when at noon on Saturday, April 25th, the ground beneath you shook violently and swayed for one full minute. Imagine that longest minute of your life. The quake caused large portions of the mountains to slide and buildings to sway and collapse (as I write this I stop to look around me for danger, as another of frequent aftershocks occur…that is unsettling enough for me). Great holes appeared in the roads and the dust billowed so thick that one man said, 'I couldn’t see someone 2 meters in front of me.'
In one town of 4,000 people about 90km from Kathmandu only one house is structurally sound enough to enter. Now one week later many have decided that their only course of action is to take their families away from this area to Kathmandu. Anup, a manager of a tourist place north of Chaku was at the China boarder 8km from here when the earthquake hit. He was standing in the middle of the house and as the quake continued a landlside rushed through the house to his right then his left and a large boulder fell behind him, killing everyone in the house but him. Traumatized, he walked 5 hours over the damaged road back to his village passing scores of dead in buses, trucks, and along the road. He and others who were trying to reach safety, walked or ran as fast as they could always looking up afraid of more landslides.
The terrain has challenged our team in an effort to mobilize into hard hit area where little or no help has reached. Some roads are barely passable like the one that took 3 hours to travel 31km. We trek further on foot as needed to reach smaller outposts to treat and assess the condition of the communities, the results of which we will pass on to the relief officials. The government has worked to helicopter out the most severely injured to Kathmandu hospitals, but in our clinics we find that moderately injured people are still untreated and have no means to access care. We have found people with a broken leg, toe, and lacerations from last Saturday that still require care, as well as a need for support of the general health of the community as the infrastructure is not functioning as it had previously.
As this effort continues to unfold I am so grateful to be a part of an international response to come alongside these amazing Nepalese people in their suffering."