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Federal Way’s World Vision on the ground in Nepal and preparing emergency assistance

World Vision is working to account for its roughly 200 employees in Nepal while preparing an emergency response to Saturday’s disastrous earthquake, the Federal Way-based international relief organization announced.

At least 25 of its staff members are now in Kathmandu hotel, where they’re still feeling aftershocks from a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has claimed more than 1,130 lives.

“I was home with my 5-year-old son when the ground started shaking, almost like we were in a boat,” Alina Shrestha, communications manager with World Vision in Nepal, said in a written statement the organization released Saturday.

“We ran outside and everyone was screaming,” she said. “One wall of my home collapsed. Tonight, 30 people are staying at my home because I have an open space where they feel safe. Many people are afraid of aftershocks and are sleeping outside, but it’s cold here. My children are sleeping in my car to try to stay warm.”

World Vision is a Christian-based international aid organization with projects in nearly 100 countries. The epicenter of the Nepal earthquake struck near one of World Vision’s project sites outside of Kathmandu.

Its Nepal staff members are reporting power outages and an influx of injured people to hospitals.

“Infrastructure is down all over the city,” said Philip Ewert, World Vision’s operations director in Kathmandu. “Power is out with limited internet access. Walls and water tanks are damaged. We are also getting reports that people are trapped in temples and other public buildings as there was a large festival here Saturday.”

World Vision is seeking to provide potable water, emergency shelter, food and household supplies for its earthquake response. It is gathering donations for the effort at its website, worldvision.org.

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