Apologies for the delay in publishing this update, it has taken some time to get accurate information and images from the school.
The earthquakes that have devastated Nepal were felt all over the India. The Darjeeling area in northeast India is close to the Nepalese border, and has had very strong shocks and after shocks – which are still occurring. The good news is that Hannah Memorial Academy school buildings – which are now constructed with steel reinforced concrete pillars – have suffered only comparatively minor damage. The buildings have been professionally inspected and apart from one pillar which may need replacement, the damage is non-structural cracks, albeit in every classroom. They will require making good and redecorating, which won’t take place until aftershocks cease – they are still continuing, and causing much fear and anxiety.
Since the first earthquake the children have either been taught outside, or neighbouring undamaged houses, in small groups for the quickest evacuation if needed.
There has been massive disruption in the whole area, people all over the district have been sleeping outdoors for fear of tremors at night. In Darjeeling and other towns, densely populated and with high buildings in multi-occupation, people have been too frightened to sleep inside, so have been outside all night – sleeping in cars, tents, shelters – and its the rainy season, to add to the misery and fear.
We speak regularly with people from the school to and in due course there will be work to do to put right the damage.
Huge thanks to you all for your support, the children, their families, the teachers and all connected to the school feel hugely comforted and grateful that they are supported by you, in their efforts to create a better life for their children and themselves.
We will keep you updated, and Christine and Roger – who started the charity – will be going out in November to ensure all is well. Hopefully, no more earthquakes!
We have more images of the damage to the school. If you would like to see these or feel the need for any further information, then do please email firstname.lastname@example.org.