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Earthquake in Nepal: Order of Malta’s international relief service, Malteser International, sends assessment team

Emergency relief team arrives in Nepal today

Cologne, 26 April 2015

Nepal-rescue workers pull a survivor from the rubble

Nepal-rescue workers pull a survivor from the rubble

First aid workers from Malteser International are on their way to Nepal. An assessment team was dispatched to the region this morning. On the ground, they will evaluate the situation and begin setting in motion the first emergency relief measures. The Nepalese government has declared a state of emergency and has called for international assistance. 

“Medical infrastructure on the ground has been overwhelmed: the hospitals are overflowing; they need medications and dressings. Support equipment isn’t there. People are digging in the rubble with their bare hands. Communication on the ground is difficult, mobile phones are barely functioning,” says Oliver Hochedez, Malteser International’s Emergency Relief Coordinator.

By this morning, the official death toll from Nepalese authorities is estimated at over 2,000, and expected to rise. The earthquake which struck Nepal on Saturday morning, its epicentre 80 km from the capital, Kathmandu, was 7.8 on the Richter scale. It was also felt in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. An aftershock of magnitude 6.7 was reported in the region this morning.

Photo: Narendra Shendra/EPA.
Malteser International has been running projects in Nepal since September 2012. 

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.