Megan Brandsrud

​Around 11:55 a.m. local time, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook Nepal, with its epicenter approximately 70 km from its capital city, Kathmandu. The earthquake was felt around the whole country, but the Kathmandu valley and western region of the country were hit hardest.

As of publication time, approximately 1,500 people are reported dead and thousands are injured. Death toll numbers are expected to rise as searches continue because it is feared that many people are trapped beneath rubble. Buildings are leveled, roads are destroyed and many heritage sites and landmarks are collapsed, including the Dharahara Tower, which was built in 1832 for the queen of Nepal.

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Collapsed building and surrounding damage in Nepal following 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit the country early April 25. Photo courtesy of LWF.

The earthquake also triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing 13 people. More than 25 aftershocks have been recorded in the Kathmandu Valley and neighboring countries, causing people to spend the night outside in the open as a precaution.

Lutheran Disaster Response is working with trusted partners – Lutheran World Federation, ACT Alliance and Lutheran World Relief – who are on the ground and already responding. Immediate response includes supplies and services such as water, food, medication, shelter and psychosocial support. We continue to connect with other partners and our companion church, the Nepal Evangelical Lutheran Church, for updates and response plans.

“ELCA partners were in contact as soon as the news flashed,” says Chandran Paul Martin, consulting regional representative for South Asia, ELCA Global Mission. “Dr. Bijaya Bajracharayna, program coordinator for Lutheran World Federation in Nepal, described the situation of people on the street and open ground as after tremors were felt.”

Lutheran Disaster Response is committed to long-term response, and we will accompany our brothers and sisters who were affected by the earthquake as they navigate every process of the disaster relief and recovery process.

If you would like to support Lutheran Disaster Response’s work with the Nepal Area Earthquake, please visit the giving page. Your gifts allow us be the church in times of disaster, and we thank you for your generosity. Please continue to remember the people of Nepal and surrounding countries who were affected by the earthquake in your thoughts and prayers.

Merciful God,

Hear our cry for mercy in the wake of the earthquake. Reveal your presence in the midst of our suffering. Help us to trust in your promises of hope and life so that desperation and grief will not overtake us. Come quickly to our aid that we may know peace and joy again. Strengthen us in this time of trial with the assurance of hope we know in the death and resurrection of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.