Nepal Earthquake: Relief Efforts Continue
The web site The Humanitarian Data Exchange prominently displays the following grim figures on the human cost as a result of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal April 25. All figures are estimates as of May 6.
Number of People Killed: 7,675 – Number of People Injured: 16,392 – Number of IDP (Internally displaced people) Camps: 58
It also lists the funding received as $93 million. Not known if included in that figure is the $10 Million authorized by the Department of Defense in Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster and Civic Assistance Funding in support of the Nepal effort.
The total U.S. humanitarian assistance for Nepal to-date is nearly $26 million
Immediately after the disaster the U.S. Air Force dispatched two C-17 cargo planes loaded with personnel, cargo and supplies in support of disaster-relief operations.
Sixty-nine members of the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team await takeoff on a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Dover Air Force Base, Del., April 26, 2015. The specially trained team and approximately 70,000 pounds of their supplies deployed to Nepal to assist with rescue operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William
A steady stream of personnel, supplies and aircraft — including five U.S. Marine Corps aircraft, a UH-1Y Huey helicopter and four MV-22 Ospreys have been dispatched to Nepal since then. The military have been working closely with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.
U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 3. The aircraft are with Marine Medium Tiltotor Squadron 262, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. Courtesy photo by Natalie Hawwa, USAID/OFDA
Now, a Joint Task Force, Joint Task Force 505, has been activated to “to support the government of Nepal by conducting humanitarian disaster relief operations to limit further loss of life and suffering in response to the devastating earthquake…”
U.S. and Nepalese service members work in the command center for Joint Task Force 505 in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 6, 2015. The task force, which includes U.S. Marines and other U.S. service members, works with U.S. Agency for International Development and the international community to assist Nepal.
Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Wissler, commanding general of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, has been designated as the joint task force’s commander.
Joint Task Force 505’s forward headquarters here will coordinate U.S. military relief efforts. The task force will continue to work closely with senior representatives from the U.S. State Department, USAID and other U.S. agencies to ensure continued and timely responses to requests from the Nepalese government, officials said.
The task force will initially support ongoing disaster relief operations with a U.S. Air Force contingency response group, three Marine Corps UH-1Y Huey helicopters, four Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, four Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transports and two Marine Corps KC-130 Hercules aircraft, as well as various ground and aviation command and control capabilities.
Officials said they anticipate that the task force’s mission will require having about 500 U.S. military personnel working in Nepal.
A UH-1Y Huey prepares to land in Charikot, Nepal, May 5, 2015. Marines with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469 and Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 262 carried the supplies to Charikot, Nepal, where they will provide the Nepalese people with shelter. (Photo DOD)
Below, USAID Acting Administrator Alfonso E. Lenhardt, USAID’s Nepal Mission Director Beth Dunford and the U.S. DART Leader Bill Berger are briefed by staff from the USAID-supported aid group Save the Children in Sindhupalchowk District Nepal – Photo State Dept.
Lead photo: The view from a UH-1Y Huey shows the rubble of a home in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 4, 2015. The flight was part of a reconnaissance mission to survey the outlying areas of Nepal affected by the magnitude-7.8 earthquake, April 25. Marines, assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469, Marine Air Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, provided the UH-1Y Huey to support Nepal’s government.
(Edited to add UH-1Y Huey photo)