The death toll was climbing above 4,000 in Nepal on Monday as workers, in inspiring fashion, struggled through rescue and recovery operations in the devastating wake of Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake and large aftershock. Even as that mission continues, the threat exists for another powerful quake in the Himalayas.
But while those efforts are overwhelmed by the daunting scale of the disaster, it has been heartening to see the swift international response at the top of the world by nations that are often at odds.
Rescue teams from China and the United States are on the scene. The Indian Air Force is flying in aid and flying out victims.
Pakistan is contributing. Israel is sending a team. So are the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Singapore, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Poland. The list will grow.
Then there are the non-governmental aid agencies and charities, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, Save the Children, Oxfam, World Vision and others.
Appeals for funds are appearing on the Internet. A number of news organizations have published lists of vetted charities that have done good work in Nepal. Check these lists before giving.
The open-handed response represents an impressive worldwide outpouring of sympathy and support for the unfortunate victims of the Nepalese catastrophe.
Still, as CNN vividly described the terrible scene on Monday, relief workers were “digging through rubble by hand, performing surgeries in makeshift operating theaters, scouring notoriously difficult terrain for more victims.”
This tragedy struck with awful suddenness.
And helping the survivors recover from it will be a long, difficult, costly task.
But the unified mission of so many nations so often at odds gives hope to Nepal.
It also demonstrates how global teamwork can deliver desperately needed help to the victims of natural disasters.