Via MSF.org: Nepal: "Everyone is afraid" says head of mission. Excerpt:
The MSF teams organized quickly to provide aid to the Nepalese population after the first earthquake. Ann Taylor, MSF head of mission, explains how the aid was deployed after a second quake struck the country.
Is the situation returning to normal?
We feel the earth moving almost every day. These are aftershocks of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25. However, on May 11, there was a jolt that was nearly as strong - 7.3 on the Richter scale. Everyone is afraid. Today, I was at the Kathmandu orthopedic hospital, where we will be working. I did not see any patients entering the hospital buildings. All the patients are outside. These people, who were injured during the quakes and underwent orthopedic surgery, are hospitalized in tents.
However, because of lack of space, some are in beds under plastic tarps or shade netting. Given the situation, the first thing we managed to do was provide tents. This week, we set up two large tents that can house 50 patients and we are going to add a 70-patient tent.
The Kathmandu orthopedic hospital has an operating room that could function quite well, but no one wants to go there. To prepare for the risk of new jolts, surgery is performed outside under a specially-furnished tent set up on the hospital grounds. It’s going fine.
The needs focus on post-operative care, which will be central to our work. A physical therapist will work with patients on their rehabilitation. We will set up a special tent for physical therapy and a psychologist will provide support to earthquake victims who need it.
Is the population experiencing widespread fear?
Yes, people are traumatized. They are afraid. On May 11, the day of the second earthquake, people panicked. Those who were inside houses fled, running, and those nearby also fled, running. They are fully aware of the risk of remaining inside a building. I was in Arughat, in Gorkha district, where many houses were severely damaged. I saw walls that were still standing, but they are cracked and at risk of collapse.