Relief Reaches the Yangri Valley
Dear Friends of Himalayan Life,
First of all, we want to thank you for your continued prayer and support! Many of you have reached out with notes of encouragement, prayers and generous financial support towards the Yangri Emergency Fund. It has been uplifting for our team to feel so well supported and cared for in this difficult time.
The situation in Yangri has somewhat stabilized over the weekend. Sonam and the HL team are keeping well. Seven team members and three small children were flown to Kathmandu by an army helicopter. The rest of the team has committed to stay and help with the distribution of relief in the community and visiting the Yangri Academic Centre (YAC) families.
The local government/army has requested Sonam and the YAC staff to coordinate the distribution of government relief items (tents, food, clothing, blankets, tarps) that have been dropped off by helicopter.
Our staff have explored the situation in the Yangri Valley, by forming three teams and visiting the communities in the surrounding area. The damage is varied, some communities are doing okay, while others have been completely destroyed in the flood. Our staff have not been able to make it to Ripaar or Larke, villages across the river, but relief flights are scheduled to drop off items to them early this week. Amazingly, there was no loss of life in the Yangri Valley (a different story downstream).
Thankfully, there has been only a little rainfall in the past 72 hours. It is impossible for the time being to leave the Yangri region other than by helicopter. The river continues to run high but appears more stable.
The larger flooding-related situation remains highly critical. Sadly, the Melamchi River (a few kilometres west from Yangri, joining the river from Yangri at Melamchi Bazaar) has flash-flooded again this weekend, adding to the already huge damage downstream. Meanwhile, the flooding situation has spread also to other parts of Nepal. Many of the major river valleys are seeing flooding. The situation is rapidly turning into a national emergency. All of this is amidst a Covid-19 lockdown across Nepal.
The District Authorities have assured us that the road from Kathmandu to Melamchi would reopen in 10 days or so. Once that has happened, the plan is to evacuate some of our staff for the time being, while others stay to continue with relief for as long as needed. We will send an update as we know more. Thank you for your continued prayer and support, it is much needed and appreciated
-The Himalayan Life Team