East Hawaii News

Hawai’i Red Cross’ ‘Hearts Go Out’ to Nepal

April 27, 2015, 9:10 AM HST
* Updated April 27, 9:16 AM
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The American Red Cross and Red Cross Societies around the globe are rushing emergency humanitarian aid to Nepal following the devastating earthquake that struck the country over the weekend.

An initial $300,000 has been committed by the American National Red Cross to help in relief efforts. Disaster specialists are also heading to Nepal. The Nepal Red Cross Society and global Red Cross network is working together to coordinate additional support. Remote mapping and information management support to the earthquake is being conducted by the American National Red Cross to gather an accurate assessment of the destruction that took place.

“Our hearts go out to all those impacted by the devastation of this earthquake,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO of the Hawai’i Red Cross.

First aid, search and rescue, blood to medical facilities in the capital, and support to first responders is currently being provided by the Nepal Red Cross. The agency’s experience in responding to natural disasters has given it a leading role in the government’s contingency plan.

Nearly 19,000 non-food relief kits are available in Nepal. These kits include items like clothing, kitchen sets, tarpaulins, mosquito nets, and personal hygiene items. Nearly 1,200 tarpaulins have been distributed already to displaced families. Additional relief items will arrive in the coming days from logistics systems in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.

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“Those who wish to help those affected by the Nepal Earthquake can do so by going to redcross.org or by mailing a check to our office at 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816.  Checks should be addressed to “American Red Cross” and indicate in the memo line “Nepal Earthquake,” Matayoshi added.

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Families separated by the earthquake are being aided by the Nepal Red Cross Society and the International Committee of the Red Cross. More on the reuniting process can be found at the Restoring Family Links website.

Nepal was hit by the largest earthquake since 1934 on Saturday. The earthquake caused massive destruction and loss of life. Certain areas are facing accessibility issues, including the remote areas surrounding Kathmandu. Thousands have been injured and over 4,000 people have been killed. Nepal has been faced with at least 15 aftershocks that range from a magnitude 5 to 6.6. These aftershocks have caused additional damage to buildings and have heightened the possibility of building collapses.

Both electricity and telephone service has been intermittent. In addition, mobile services are experiencing heavy congestion. Hospitals have continued to function but are stretched to the limits.

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Since 1999, the American Red Cross has been working with the Nepal Red Cross to support disaster relief and disaster preparedness.

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