On Saturday, April 25, 2015, a catastrophic earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck Nepal, its epicenter located just northwest of the capital, Kathmandu. This devastating event marked the most powerful earthquake to impact the region in over 80 years. Significantly, the epicenter was a mere 15 kilometers from Ashrang.
Tragically, the area was hit by a second major earthquake, measuring 7.3 in magnitude, a mere 17 days later on May 12, causing further destruction and intensifying the suffering of those who had already endured the initial disaster.
Key earthquake details:
Magnitude: 7.8 on the Richter scale.
Epicenter: Located less than 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, in central Nepal.
Depth: The earthquake source was relatively shallow, at a depth of 11 kilometers (approximately 6.8 miles), which contributed to its immense strength and the resulting damage.
Aftershocks: There were hundreds of aftershocks in total, including two significant ones measuring 6.6 and 6.7 in magnitude, and a second earthquake measuring 7.3 on May 12.
Worst quake since: This was the most severe earthquake in Nepal since the devastating 8.2 magnitude earthquake in 1932, which claimed the lives of 10,000 to 12,000 people and completely leveled Kathmandu.
People affected: Approximately 8 million individuals were impacted by the disaster.
Death toll: The tragedy claimed around 8,700 lives, including about 150 individuals who lost their lives during the May 12 quake.
People injured: At least 22,200 individuals suffered injuries.
Number of children in need of urgent assistance: 1.1 million children required immediate aid.
Number of people in need of humanitarian assistance: A staggering 2.8 million individuals required humanitarian support.
Homes and structures: The quakes caused the collapse of homes, historic temples, and infrastructure. Roads were damaged, and communication became sporadic. Mt. Everest experienced avalanches. Reports from remote areas revealed that entire villages were razed, leaving no structures standing. Hillside villages saw their water systems wrecked, and terraced farms and livestock were destroyed by the quakes or subsequent landslides, leading to the loss of people's livelihoods.
Number of homes destroyed: More than 505,000 homes were utterly destroyed.
Number of homes damaged: Over 279,000 homes sustained damage.
Areas affected: The earthquake's impact extended across 40 percent of Nepal, affecting 39 out of its 75 districts. Tragically, deaths were also reported in neighboring Tibet and India.
Most affected areas: Gorkha, Lamjung, and Sindhupalchok, along with the Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur Districts.
In response to this immense humanitarian crisis, Child Education Nepal UK (CENUK) delivered crucial aid to affected areas, including Muchhok, which was only 5 kilometers from the earthquake's epicenter, as well as Ashrang in the Gorkha district of Nepal. Relief efforts also extended to Kathmandu and Sindhupalchok districts.
Nepal, renowned for its rich cultural heritage and extreme tourism, is paradoxically one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia. The damage inflicted by the earthquakes imposed a long-lasting strain on its citizens, with repercussions that will persist for years.
During this dire period, CENUK undertook the distribution of essential supplies, including food, water, temporary shelters, and tents, to provide immediate relief and support to those in need.