Caritas is rapidly responding to a massive 7.8 earthquake that has hit Nepal. The epicentre was between the capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara.
Extensive damage has been reported, with loss of life and injury.
"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," said Caritas Nepal director Fr. Pius Perumana S.J. in Kathmandu.
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 preparing to send aid overland from India.
“Caritas has a very strong disaster response team who have been responding to other emergencies like the landslides that affected communities in Nepal in August 2014,” says Anna Robertson, Programmes Coordinator for Nepal.
#1 - PRAYER FOR PEOPLE OF NEPAL - supplied by CAFOD
#2 - PRAYER FOR PEOPLE OF NEPAL - supplied by CRS
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has launched an emergency appeal for the Caritas response to this major emergency in Nepal.
*If donating online, select Nepal Disaster Fund