Nepal: LWF responds to earthquake in Karnali district

7 Nov 2023

LWF is responding to a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck Karnali district in Western Nepal on 3 November. More than 15,000 houses were destroyed or damaged and many people are without food, winter clothing and shelter.

Nepal earthquake 2023

Families sit on the floor next to their collapsed houses. Photo: LWF/M. Khatri

Food, shelter and winter clothes urgently needed 

(LWI) - Most people were asleep when a series of earthquakes struck the Karnali Province in Western Nepal close to midnight on 3 November.  

The Nepalese earthquake monitoring center measured an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 which was followed by several strong aftershocks. Many rural homes were damaged and destroyed in a remote area which is difficult to access. LWF aims to respond to the affected communities, particularly the most vulnerable and already poor and marginalized communities. 

“The earthquake has caused devastation and resulted in casualties and injuries,” said Susan Muis, LWF Regional program Coordinator for Asia, who is currently in Nepal. More than 150 deaths have been reported, thousands are homeless and need to sleep in the open air or tents while the winter has started in the mountainous region. LWF noted more than 12,000 Dalit community members in Jajarkot in need of immediate support.

The earthquake has disproportionately affected the very poor, disadvantaged, Dalit and ex-Haliya communities.

– Susan MUIS, LWF Regional Program Officer for Asia

“The earthquake has disproportionately affected the very poor, disadvantaged, Dalit (lower caste), and ex-Haliya (bonded laborers) communities. Traditional houses, especially those belonging to the ex-Haliya, Dalits, and poor communities, have suffered significant damage. The frequent earthquakes and aftershocks have created an atmosphere of fear and panic among the population.”  

LWF Nepal is preparing to provide emergency shelter kits, food, hygiene kits, warm clothes, blankets and other items to withstand the cold, along with psychosocial support. Priority will be given to children, the elderly and people living with disabilities.  

“In the long term, we will also look at reconstruction,” added Muis. LWF has proven experience in earthquake relief and reconstruction work from the devastating 2015 earthquake. “Together with others, we need to make sure that the people whose homes were destroyed receive dignified support.”

LWF/C. Kästner-Meyer