U.S. Launches Aid Effort to Help Victims of Nepal Earthquake

The U.S. will immediately provide $1 million in aid.

on April 26, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving thousands dead or trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors.

Photographer: Omar Havana/Getty Images

U.S. government agencies gave their condolences and initiated aid efforts on Saturday to help those affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake centered near Kathmandu, Nepal. 

The earthquake is the worst to hit the region in more than 80 years and as of late morning on Sunday, the death toll is more than 2,300. 

Secretary of State John Kerry wrote that the U.S. will immediately provide $1 million in aid to the region, saying in a statement: 

I join the people of the United States in expressing our deepest condolences to all of those affected by today's earthquake in Nepal, including the families of those who died in Nepal, India, China, and Bangladesh.

We are working closely with the government of Nepal to provide assistance and support. Ambassador Bodde has issued a disaster declaration in order to immediately release an initial $1 million for humanitarian assistance. USAID is preparing to deploy a Disaster Assistance Response Team and is activating an Urban Search and Rescue Team to accompany disaster experts and assist with assessments of the situation.

To the people in Nepal and the region affected by this tragedy we send our heartfelt sympathies. The United States stands with you during this difficult time.

National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan wrote: 

The American people express deep condolences for the lives lost in today’s earthquake.  The earthquake and subsequent landslides caused widespread damage and loss of life in Nepal, India and Bangladesh. The United States is deploying a team of disaster response experts to Nepal, is providing an initial one million dollars in disaster relief assistance, and stands ready to assist the Government and people of Nepal and the region further in this time of need.

Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority also gave a statement about the earthquake, writing: 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and loved ones of all those killed in the terrible earthquake in Nepal. 

Our hearts ache at the news of lives taken from the face of Everest and the heart of Katmandu, and the scenes of devastation from Nepal to Northern India.  The American people stand ready to help however we can, in rescuing survivors, delivering aid, food and shelter, and supporting the hard path from ruin to recovery.

We offer our deepest condolences to the victims of this terrible tragedy.

A 6.4 magnitude aftershock struck the area on Sunday morning. 

The Red Cross also announced Saturday that it has launched its own relief efforts. Donations to the American Red Cross can be made here

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