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Caritas Nepal staff say rescue, food and shelter are the priorities. Photo: Caritas

Caritas Nepal staff say rescue, food and shelter are the priorities. Photo: Caritas

Caritas Nepal staff are rushing to respond to a strong earthquake. The quake measured 7.9. The epicentre was between the capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara. Extensive damage has been reported, with loss of life and injury.

Caritas Nepal director Fr. Pius Perumana is in Kathmandu. He said,”It was the worst earthquake I have ever experienced in my life. The after shocks are still strong. The indications so far are that this is a major emergency.”

He said that there has been lots of physical damage, electricity has been down making communications difficult and roads are blocked. “Lots of houses have fallen down and there are lots with cracks. Thank God it was during the day and on a holiday as many people were outside when the quake happened.”

Assessments are coming in and Caritas teams in country are organising the response. “Rescue is the first priority. Lots of people have lost their homes and are out on the street or in open spaces, so we will be looking to provide them with food and temporary shelter.”

The airport is currently closed so Caritas members are looking to send aid overland from India.