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Press Release

Lutheran World Relief Readies Response Following Deadly Earthquake in Nepal

BALTIMORE, MD--(Marketwired - April 25, 2015) - A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck approximately 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, Nepal at 11:41 a.m. local time Saturday. Tremors were felt across northern India and neighboring Bangladesh and Pakistan. Aftershocks continued throughout the day, one of which measured at a magnitude of 6.6. Damage to infrastructure is significant, and more than 1,400 people are confirmed dead, with the death toll expected to rise. It is reported to be the most powerful earthquake to hit Nepal in 81 years.

Lutheran World Relief (LWR), a US-based humanitarian agency with a presence in Nepal, has been in communication with staff on the ground. "This is still a scary situation," said Narayan Gyawali, a member of LWR's local staff in Nepal. "Phone and internet are not working properly. Thousands are injured, and there are huge physical damages."

Assessments of damages and needs are underway. LWR is working in close coordination with the Nepali District Disaster Relief Committee (DDRC), the local government agency responsible for disaster response. The Government of Nepal has declared a state of emergency and is requesting humanitarian assistance. Coordination meetings with government agencies and local and international relief organizations will take place on Sunday.

LWR spent the initial hours following the quake confirming the safety and security of local staff and partners, and the communities in which we are currently working. LWR has had a presence In Nepal since 2009, and works with local partners on agriculture, food security, climate change adaptation, emergency response and disaster risk reduction (DRR) projects. LWR's work focuses on areas of western Nepal, including a current program based in Lamjung district, near the epicenter of the earthquake.

LWR is accepting donations for the Nepal Earthquake. To give, please visit lwr.org/nepalearthquake, call 1-800-597-5972, or mail a check to Lutheran World Relief, PO Box 17061, Baltimore, MD 21297-1061(please note "Nepal Earthquake Fund" on your check).

Lutheran World Relief is coordinating with Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance to plan a response to the earthquake. ACT, a global coalition of churches and faith-based aid agencies, issued an initial alert to members within hours of the quake and will hold a coordination meeting with all local members Sunday morning to plan an initial response.

About Lutheran World Relief (LWR):

Lutheran World Relief works to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and people experiencing poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America, both in times of emergencies and for the long term. With the financial support of US Lutherans and other donors, LWR strengthens communities through programs in agriculture, climate, and emergency support. LWR works with partners, supporters and technical assistance providers to achieve lasting results. For more information, visit lwr.org.

The following files are available for download:

Media Contact:
Emily Sollie
443-220-3269 cell
esollie@lwr.org

Hanah Smith
734-679-6348 cell
hsmith@mrss.com