Contact: Mark W. Gaither, GAIN International
PLANO, Texas, May 13, 2015 /Christian Newswire
/ -- Another earthquake has rocked Nepal just one day after a GAIN survey team returned home with details needed to ramp up relief in the area.
"We spent a week there and formed friendships with the Nepal Campus Crusade for Christ team," Phil Liller, director of the GAIN Logistics Center in Lancaster County, PA, said. "This is hard for me to see a second big earthquake has happened to them."
GAIN (Global Aid Network) is the humanitarian aid arm of Campus Crusade for Christ International. That makes the 100 staff and 200 church planters of Nepal Campus Crusade for Christ coworkers and teammates.
Liller and two others arrived in Nepal a week after the first quake. "From what we saw, 90% of Kathmandu was okay," Liller said. "But Kathmandu wasn't the epicenter. The earthquake crossed the top of Nepal north of Kathmandu and even more east. So 50 Kilometers east of Kathmandu, there is a lot of structural damage. Things are just leveled. You could see the damaged area in red on the UN maps."
The latest earthquake was to the east—closer to Mount Everest. "I sent an email to the team there," Liller said. "I have not heard back from them yet."
So far, the UN has estimated that 95% of all homes in the mountain district were destroyed. The mountain district is the elevation above 3,600 meters (more than 11,000 feet). "That is pretty high," Liller said. "And you think that there can't be that many people living up that high. But it's Nepal and there are quite a few living that high up. So they are now living out under the stars."
Liller and his GAIN team members will be thinking through their action plan. The top priority—shelter. The monsoon rains start in a little over a month. The rains will be heaviest in July and August. Kathmandu gets 15 inches of rain a month during the monsoon season. That averages ½ an inch of rain a day.
"They needs large tarps and tents," Liller said. "I was there a half a week before I realized that one of the staff was living under a tarp with his young wife of only a year who was also expecting a baby in July. Now their house did not fall down, but it was structurally damaged. They cannot go back in. They must tear it down and rebuild. But they cannot tear it down and rebuild in the month before the monsoon comes. Where are they going to live? Under that tarp? Think about what happens under a small tarp. The rain comes in, the ground gets wet."
So the GAIN team is determining the best course of action—buying in country, shipping aid in, or flying it in. But it will not be easy.
"I have never seen an environment as difficult as Nepal," Liller said. "I was trying to brainstorm on what environment would be worse. Maybe Tibet? It is totally land-locked and you would have to go through China. Of all the environments on the earth, Nepal has to be one of the worst for getting aid to people. But we won't give up."
And GAIN has a very real connection with the 300 Nepal Campus Crusade for Christ staff members in all parts of Nepal. "So if they have 300 staff across Nepal, already integrated into the communities, knowing the community leaders, integrated into the churches and everything else, the distribution network is there," Liller said.
To help with Nepal efforts, please visit www.gainusa.org/NepalQuake
Additional stories, details, quotes, and photos available upon request.