Dr. Boozman's Check-up

As the death toll from the devastating earthquake and resulting avalanche in Nepal continues to rise, there is a sliver of good news to report. U.S. forces have rescued three Americans who were trekking in the Langtang area of Nepal when the earthquake struck. They survived the earthquake then lived in a cave for five days with about two-dozen people before they were found. 

Along with search and rescue teams, the U.S. is helping on-the-ground with emergency relief and humanitarian assistance. The website for our embassy in Nepal is a good resource if you are interested in more details about U.S. efforts to help in wake of this tragedy as well as constantly updated travel alerts for the region. 

For assistance regarding U.S. citizens in Nepal, the Department of State has established a public email address (NepalEmergencyUSC@state.gov) for all inquiries concerning U.S. citizens affected by the earthquake. You may also contact 1-888-407-4747 (from the U.S. & Canada) or +1-202-501-4444 from overseas. 

Nearly one-third of Nepal's population has been affected by the 7.8 earthquake that struck the central part of the country. That’s more than eight million people across 39 of the country’s 75 districts. 

The United Nations (UN) reports that approximately 2.8 million people countrywide are displaced following the earthquake which caused widespread damage and destruction.

The most tragic number is the fatalities. Over 5,800 have died, including four American citizens, with the death toll expected to rise to over 15,000. 

Whenever natural disasters of this magnitude occur, the spirt and generosity of the American people become the bright spot in such a dark time. 

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has cataloged the humanitarian agencies that are helping in the recovery.  If you are interested in giving, but uncertain to which organization, there are “Watchdog” groups that offer information on responding organizations that can help you decide if you are unsure which organization you would like including The Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance, The American Institute of Philanthropy, GuideStar, and Charity Navigator.

Please join me in keeping the people of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh in your thoughts and prayers in the aftermath of this tragedy.