Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Leaders, Charities Offer Condolences, Help after Nepal Quake

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Leaders, Charities Offer Condolences, Help after Nepal Quake

Article excerpt

LONDON * As world leaders and global charities tried to grasp the scope of an earthquake that devastated Nepal, they offered condolences for the nearly 1,400 people killed and readied emergency aid for the survivors. Mountaineering groups struggled to check on climbers, and Nepalese abroad did their best to reach families in the stricken area.

With Internet and cellphone communications spotty, and many roads closed because of damage, the outside world did not yet have a clear picture of what was most needed after the magnitude 7.8 quake Saturday.

But it was clear that help was needed and fast.

"We know the damage is extensive and that access into rural areas will be very, very difficult for everybody," said Ben Pickering, Save the Children's humanitarian adviser in Britain. "Children will be affected in many ways. Physical injuries. Separated from families."

Charities assembled disaster teams, but the most convenient pathway into Nepal one of the world's poorest countries was not available because the international airport in Kathmandu was shut down.

Doctors Without Borders said four teams would leave Sunday morning for Nepal from Bihar state in India, close to the Nepal border. The organization also is sending in 3,000 kits including medical supplies.

AmeriCares sent a team from India and was preparing shipments of medical aid and relief supplies. "We are prepared to help any way that we can," said AmeriCares President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis.

Handicap International, which had a presence in Nepal with 47 workers before the earthquake, was already busy with the emergency response.

"One of our projects there, because it's earthquake-prone, is to help hospital staffs, physical therapists and others to anticipate the kind of injury we tend to see after a quake," said spokeswoman Mica Bevington. "And we're sharing our resources, like all our wheelchairs are going to two hospitals in need. …

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