MILLWOOD, Va., April 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The global NGO, Project HOPE, announced today that it is poised to deploy medical volunteers and humanitarian aid to Nepal after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed more than 3,600 people in the worst disaster to hit the South Asian country in more than 80 years.
More than 6,500 people were injured in the earthquake that struck on Saturday, according to the National Emergency Operation Center. The disaster also claimed dozens of lives in India and China. A powerful 6.7-magnitude aftershock hit Nepal on Sunday, causing widespread panic and hampering search and rescue efforts near the capital, Kathmandu.
"Our team in the region is working with the local and international disaster response task force in Nepal to seek collaborations so we can effectively respond to the disaster," said Scott Crawford, Director of Humanitarian Assistance and Gift-in-Kind at Project HOPE. "We are actively reaching out to our corporate partners to source donated medicines and supplies for health facilities overwhelmed by the disaster."
Reports from Kathmandu say hospitals are struggling to cope with hundreds of injured patients and there are concerns for the safety of tens of thousands of people camping out in the streets fearing further tremors.
Nepali officials say the country faces food and water shortages and have expressed grave concern for people living in remote areas which remain cut off or hard to access. They reported widespread damage to buildings in the epicenter of the quake and the government declared a state of emergency in affected areas. The quake also spawned an avalanche on Mount Everest killing 18 people.
In 2012, Project HOPE volunteers provided crucial medical care and health education to remote areas of Nepal during HOPE's fourth humanitarian mission with the U.S. Air Force (PACANGEL).
About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, and conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 30 countries. Visit our website projecthope.org and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg
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Source: Project HOPE