Mountain Heart Nepal

Emergency response following storm in Southern Nepal 2019

Emergency response following storm in Southern Nepal 2019

120 km from the capital, Kathmandu, at 7.30 pm a severe rainstorm swept villages of Bara and Parsa in Southern Nepal on 31 March 2019. Aljazeera reports that at least 31 people had died leaving 600 injured, and 2,400 homes damaged within two minutes of the thunderstorm that blew 90 kilometres an hour. Hundreds of injured piled up in the government hospitals for treatment depleting limited stock of medical resources.

The roofs built of thatch or zinc sheet had blown away, and the walls of the homes made out of mud, bricks, and stone collapsed, leaving residents exposed to open sky. The knocked down of the 2,000 electricity poles further disrupted electricity supplies in the affected areas, and fallen trees blocked road access making rescue effort difficult at night.

The team at Mountain Heart Nepal quickly made arrangements for its deployment to assess the situation and provide medical support to the victims. As per its strategic response plan, local contacts were approached, interested medical volunteers were recruited, and emergency medical supplies stored in advance was assembled in less than 12 hours. Staffs from Mountain Heart Nepal than travelled to Bara on the Direct Relief donated 4X4 along with the medical supplies on 1st April.

The staffs visited the affected villages and local hospitals to hand out medical supplies. The medications were distributed to improve the care of patients affected by the storm in the following centres: (1) Sub-health post of Chainpur Gaupalika, (2) Bara District Hospital, Kalaiya, Bara, and (3) Narayani Sub-district hospital, Birgunj.

Three doctors and Nursing students from a local nursing school treated 160 patients at the medical camp held at Chainpur-4, Bara on 2 April 2019. Majority of the attendees in the camp were treated for injuries, cuts, and wounds from fallen trees and debris.

Our medical response in the affected area continued with the funds received from Direct Relief. It ran for five consecutive weeks to restore the affected community’s health care services and health status. Read more about the response here: