Islamic Relief has launched an emergency appeal in response to the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

The earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, struck an area around 50 miles away from Nepal’s capital city shortly after 11am on Saturday, April 25.

The tremors were felt in neighbouring countries and prompted avalanches in the Himalayas. Dozens of people have been reported killed in China and India.

More than 3,200 deaths have now been recorded in Nepal, with more than 6,500 people injured. We expect the number of people killed and injured to increase as new areas are reached.

Around 1.6 million people are believed to be homeless. Whole communities, too afraid to return home among the continuing aftershocks, are sleeping under tents in Kathmandu. Among the powerful aftershocks was a tremor, reaching 6.7 on the Richter scale, causing further damage and increasing fear.

Those in the city are coping with little water, no food as shops have closed, and, in many places, no power.

“My parents are still under the rubble.”

Umair Hasan, who is leading the humanitarian response, said: “Almost 4,000 people have died and we expect it to be much more than this. There are 35 districts affected out of Nepal’s 75. Thirteen are the worst affected.

“People are living on the road or on the ground. There are between 3,000 and 4,000 people living at the airport, which is jam-packed. Flights are being cancelled, not only because of the weather and the aftershocks but because there is no space on the ground.

“People who have homes are less affected but because of the aftershocks, they are on the streets.

“Akmal Shareef, head of mission, is on the ground assessing the situation. He met someone today who said ‘My house has collapsed, my parents are still under the rubble and I cannot get to them’. His story is one of many.”

More disaster response experts are expected to fly into the country shortly, including Haseeb Khalid (below). After assessment, we anticipate providing people with food, water, shelter, and non-food items such as hygiene kits and kitchen sets.

The earthquake occurred because of a fault line that runs along Nepal’s southern border. Records dating back to 1255 have recorded earthquakes with a magnitude of around 8 occur every 75 years.

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* Credit: REUTERS/Navesh Chitraka. reuters.com