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11 May 15

The PHASE Earthquake Diary

Over the two weeks that followed the earthquake, the PHASE team worked incredibly hard under difficult circumstances to get aid to our existing project areas and to those in desperate need of assistance. This is a record of the 12 days that followed after the earthquake, the work of both the PHASE Nepal team and other humanitarian disaster charities.


A 7.9 RS earthquake registered in Nepal at 11:00am (Nepal time), particularly affecting the Gorkha and Sindhupalchok districts.

Gerda (PHASE Medical Co-ordinator), Brihaspati (PHASE  Programme Coordinator), Neer (PHASE Education  Coordinator) and Rajendra (PHASE Communications and  Monitoring Officer) experienced the earthquake while on their way to the PHASE project area in Fulpingkot region, Sindhupalchok. A normal days work.

The PHASE staff in all affected locations immedieately worked on dealing with injuries to local people. Fortunately, all staff were accounted for post-earthquake, before the phone lines went down.


The PHASE management team returned to Kathmandu to help organise relief efforts from the capital.

The Kathmandu PHASE office opened in the morning and established contact with PHASE staff in the field to gather information about their surroundings and conditions.

However, at 1:00pm a second earthquake was felt and caused several large landslides throughout Nepal.

Homes completely destroyed by the earthquake


On day two, the PHASE office became operational with power and internet under tarpaulins. Staff based in Kathmandu continued to contact PHASE project staff for information regarding the second earthquake.

PHASE Nepal board members and staff organised the purchase and transport of supplies to devastated areas. Large quantities of rice were purchased, but the PHASE staff had trouble acquiring medicines, tents, tarpaulin and blankets for transport due to the high demand in Kathmandu.  

Roads between India and Nepal closed meaning that supplies from India were very limited. The heavy rain also made transport difficult.

Management staff attempted to access a helicopter to get supplies to Gorkha and rescue PHASE staff,  however, it was too dangerous for the helicopters to take off.

Supplies in Gorkha continued to dwindle, with a max of two or three days more until depletion. Aftershocks continue across Nepal.

PHASE Nepal office set up in Kathmandu


100 bags of rice and 20 boxes of medicine arrived at the PHASE office in Kathmandu, along with 100 tarpaulins by the end of the day. PHASE staff organise transport to take this supply to Sindhupalchok.  

PHASE staff from Fulpingkot, Sindhupalchok returned to Kathmandu as they did not have any shelter nor enough food supplies.


The first delivery of relief goods from PHASE made it to Thumpakar in Sindhupalchok – a total of 70 bags of rice and 140 tarpaulins.

600 more tarpaulins and 37 boxes of various medicines were purchased by the PHASE team in Kathmandu.

The PHASE health staff remain in communities where possible, treating injured people at increasing rates.

The PHASE management team continued to coordinate with other agencies, they had meetings with other charities such as AWO International, the Asia Foundation, People in Need and Her Turn.


PHASE Staff reports started to come in, revealing the extent and damage and deaths across some villages in Nepal. Helicopters were still unavailable for anything other than evacuation in Gorkha.

PHASE Staff attemped to salvage medical supplies from the rubble and attempted to arrange further supply transfers.

Replacement health workers arrived in Fulpingkot, Sindhulpalchok to provide emergency health service and coordinated relief distribution in this village.

120 tarpaulins were transported to Thumulthar in Sindhupalchok.

200 more bags of rice and 657 more tarpaulins were purchased in Kathmandu.

The management team decided to send a team of 11 to Fulpingkot and considered setting up a medical camp in Jalbire, Sindhupalchok.


Today, three helicopters carrying foodstuff landed in Kashiguan village in Gorkha and were distributed by the PHASE staff.

However, other helicopter deliveries were less successful. In Kerauja, supplied had to be thrown from the air due to the destruction of landslides in this village. This meant that many supplies were damaged.

Some supplies from the Nepali Army managed to reach Gorkha.

PHASE sent 80 bags of rice and 935 tarpaulins were sent to Fulpingkot region, through funding of the AWO International.

Two injured patients were identified in Sindhupalchok who need emergency hospital treatment.

Additional PHASE health workers left for Hagam in Sindhupalchok to provide desperate health support.

PHASE Health workers and a GP volunteer, Dr Elena, had to return from the Kashigaun village to Pokara via army helicopter; staff from Rayale in Kavrepalanchowk  returned back to Kathmandu, this included a GP volunteer, Dr. Penny.

450kg of tarpaulin was dropped at the airport in Kathmandu for distribution to worst affected PHASE project areas.

Increasing issues with sanitation unravelled across many villages PHASE staff were located in, due to the destruction of the earthquake that has trapped animals under building rumble, destroyed sewage systems and damaged health facilities.


A further 685 bags of rice were purchased in Kathmandu by PHASE staff.

219 tarpaulins and a box of medicine reached Hagam in Sindhupalchok by private helicopter and were successfully distributed by PHASE staff.

106 tarpaulins were sent to Chhekampar in Gorkha with transport arranged by local people (funded by Cha Ya, an Austrian charity).

Medicines and tarpaulin were sent to the airport to be flown to Manbu, Chumchet, Kerauja and Sirdibas in Gorkha.

Three patients from Fulpingkot in Sindhupalchok were brought back to Kathmandu by ambulance and admitted to the international clinic.


70 tarpaulin and 180 bags of rice were sent to Thumpakar and Vimtar in Sindhupalchok.

PHASE supplied 106 tarpaulins and 5 bags of rice to Chhekampar in Gorkha via a helicopter drop organised by local people.

Food, medicine and other logistical supplies were sent by a health team to Kerauja and Kashigaun, Gorkha.

PHASE management team joined the government level coordination meetings with the Social Welfare Council (similar to the Charity Commission) in Kathmandu.


A helicopter took a replacement health team to Kashigaun in Gorkha, as well as another team to provide essential relief goods to Keraunja, also in Gorkha.

Unfortunately, It was reported back that the helicopter could not land due to safety concerns caused by the landslides. The team in Keraunja had to remain in post. The helicopter had no nearby options either, and failed to deliver any supplied to Sridibas, Chumchet and Manbu. An incredibly frustrating day for the team trying to delivery emergency supplies for those in desperate need.

555 bags of rice were delivered to Hagam in Sindhupalchok.

Dr Elena travelled to Hagam also to support the PHASE health staff there. Three Nepali medical volunteers, who flew in from the UK, travelled to Fulpingkot in Sindhupalchok to support the health staff.

Another patient from Hagam was brought back to Kathmandu by ambulance and admitted to the international hospital.

Rajendra (PHASE board member) and Urmila (Health Programme Manager) travelled to Sindhupalchok for relief coordination meetings. Meetings were held in the office with People in Need, Caritas, AWO and Himalayan Development Foundation Australia.


534 bags of rice and 170 tarpaulins were sent to Fulpingkot, which completed the first round of relief goods and total coverage for this area.

More medicinal supplies and 14 solar lights were purchased, the latter being particularly useful to ensure mobile phones remained charged for emergency contact and coordination between PHASE staff across Nepal.

One of the patients evacuated from Hagam in Sindhupalchok was admitted to the teaching hospital in Kathmandu for emergency surgery.

Rajendra and Sunita (Health Programme Officer) travelled to Gorkha for another coordination meeting with other agencies.


Guidelines developed for supply distribution and surveys to analyse need, further relief delivery for Hagam was also prepared.

Health staff were moved around to relieve those in the worst affected areas.


Two teams of PHASE health staff flew by helicopter to Sridibas and Chumchet in Gorkha to provide emergency healthcare and supply essential medicines.

Two separate teams of PHASE staff set off by road to Manbu in Gorkha and Hagam in Sindhupalchok to support emergency services running there.

Ana additional team was set up in Aarughat in Gorkha to coordinate relief distribution.

510 bags of rice and 400 tarpaulins were sent to Hagam in Sindhupalchok.

1200 plastic jugs, mattresses and plastic water containers were purchased by the Kathmandu office.

PHASE Nepal staff distributing rice bags

Summary of the 12 days

Over the last 12 days, PHASE received vital support from many generous donors that wished to support recovery and response in Nepal. PHASE were able to:

  • Supply around 1,665 bags of rice to the affected communities – at an average of £7 per bag, to ensure people can access food.
  • Purchased around 3,905 tarpaulins for £15,325 – averaging £4 per tarpaulin, for those who lost their homes (Up to 90% of people in Gorkha).
  • Provided additional food supplies to our staff working in the worst affected areas costing £171.
  • Purchased medicines to treat earthquake victims and kept our health services running were damages were minimal.
  • Flew several times to affected regions by helicopters (road access is not possible) – at a cost of £3,143 in order to distribute essential supplies and replace staff who could not provide health services.

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