There was a 7.8 Richter scale earthquake that occurred approximately 50 miles from Kathmandu at noon local time. There is significant property damage in Kathmandu. Secretary of State John Kerry conveyed deepest condolences to all those affected, including families in Nepal, India, China, and Bangladesh.
The U.S. Embassy in Nepal is currently conducting accountability checks of U.S. Embassy personnel and U.S. citizens. The U.S. Embassy issued an emergency message advising all U.S. citizens to shelter in place if they are in a safe location. Any American citizens needing assistance should contact the Embassy at (+977 1) 423 4068, 423 4120, 423 4494, 423 4269, 423 4340, 423 4542, or 423 4144 or if in the United States can contact the State Department directly at 1-888-407-4747.
We encourage people in the United States to contact the State Department at NepalEmergencyUSC@state.gov or 1-888-407-4747 to provide us with information about U.S. citizens who may be in need of assistance in Nepal.
We are closely working with the government of Nepal to provide assistance and support. Ambassador Peter W. Bodde is in touch with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office Of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) about the U.S. response to the Nepal earthquake. USAID has a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) on its way, and OFDA activated a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue team specializing in urban search and rescue to deploy with the DART to help in the response efforts. In addition, the U.S. Mission in Nepal will contribute $1 million in initial assistance to support disaster relief efforts.
You can go to the Center for International Disaster Information's website, www.cidi.org, to find out how you can help those affected by the earthquake. The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations.
Please follow @USEmbassyNepal, @theOFDA, and @StateDept on Twitter and 'like' the U.S. Embassy in Nepal on Facebook for updates.