Children and families at risk after 6.4-magnitude earthquake hits western Nepal

Statement attributable to Alice Akunga, UNICEF Representative to Nepal

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KATHMANDU, 4 November 2023 – “We are deeply saddened by the devastating impact of the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck Karnali and Lumbini provinces in western Nepal at 11:47 p.m. on Friday 3 November.

“According to the authorities, 143 persons have died and 190 people are reportedly injured. Jajarkot and Rukum West are the most affected districts where search and rescue efforts are ongoing.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the people and children who have lost their loved ones. The full extent of the damage will unfold in the coming days and sadly the numbers of those affected are likely to grow.

“Children and their families are most at risk after the earthquake and several aftershocks damaged and destroyed houses, schools and health centres. Estimates indicate that thousands of school aged children live in the affected areas and will be impacted.

“UNICEF teams are on the ground, providing urgent assistance to children and families in need. Along with authorities and partners, UNICEF is assessing the toll on children and families. We are also gauging the support they require at this crucial juncture in the areas of health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), child protection and social protection.

“UNICEF has already dispatched emergency supplies to the most affected areas in Jajarkot and Rukum West districts, including over 1,000 tarpaulins and 1,300 blankets.

“The latest disaster is the largest earthquake to impact Nepal since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015. It comes in the aftermath of a 5.3 magnitude earthquake in the western district of Bajhang in October when over 15,000 households were affected.

“We stand in solidarity with the people and children of Nepal during this difficult time.” 


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