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Nepal Earthquake Devastation Could Cost Billions: Here's How to Help

Initial U.S. Geological Survey calculations estimated the damage from the Nepal earthquake could cost between $100 million and $10 billion.
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/ Source: NBC News

A magnitude-7.8 earthquake shook Nepal on Saturday, killing more than 1,100 people and leaving an innumerable portion of the population missing. The powerful quake was felt in neighboring India, Tibet and Bangladesh.

Gallery: Hundreds Killed in Nepal Earthquake

Strong aftershocks also rocked the poverty-stricken Himalayan nation for hours, and the estimated damage could cost between $100 million and $10 billion, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

How to Donate

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world with a per capita income of just $62.50 a month, according to the World Bank. The U.S. has pledged an initial $1 million, while charitable organizations have also mobilized to collect donations:

World Vision

The humanitarian aid group had staff on the ground in Nepal when the quake hit. As the organization tries to locate all of its workers, the ones who are safe are reporting that the immediate needs are food, water and shelter, spokeswoman Laura Blank told NBC News.

"It's freezing outside especially at night. I can't imagine how children and families are gonna sleep tonight," said child protection specialist Rosalyn Lorin, who witnessed the quake. "They need blankets and shelter. They're now afraid to go back (to) their houses."

Those who wish to donate to World Vision can visit their Nepal page or text NEPAL to 777444 to donate $10.

International Red Cross

Emergency responders from the Red Cross have been mobilized to affected areas and are especially concerned about more remote towns that have been blocked off by landslides and lost communication.

“We are extremely concerned about the fate of communities in towns and villages in rural areas closer to the epicenter,” said Jagan Chapagain, the IFRC’s Director for Asia Pacific. The International Federation of Red Cross is using funds to try to get aid to those cut-off areas. The organization's blood bank in the capital of Kathmandu is also operating to provide blood supplies to medical facilities in the city.

For more information, visit the International Federation of Red Cross' website.

American Red Cross

The organization has teamed up with the Nepal Red Cross to help with first aid, search and rescue and delivery of blood to medical facilities. The Red Cross has already distributed 1,200 tarps to displaced families and has 19,000 non-food relief kits, packed with clothes, mosquito nets and hygiene products, available.

To donate to the efforts of the Red Cross in Nepal, click on this link and choose “Nepal Earthquake Relief” from the dropdown list.


The United Nations Children's Fund already has staff in Nepal. For more information, visit UNICEF's website. People can also text "Nepal" to 864233 to donate $10.

International Medical Corps

The organization focuses on delivering medical supplies and sending teams to assist and train health care workers in crisis regions. Their team is heading to the epicenter of the quake, where they say hospitals are overflowing, and medicine and supplies are expected to be quickly depleted. To donate to their Nepal response, click here.

Save the Children

The non-governmental organization has launched disaster response on the ground in Nepal, and works specifically with children and families. Ten percent of donations also go toward preparing for the next emergency response, according to its website. To donate, visit their Nepal page.


The group has previous experience responding to landslides in Nepal, and humanitarian workers are currently in the country providing food, water, shelter and health care, according to its website. To donate, visit their NEPAL page.


The charity crowd funding site has set up a Nepal-specific page. Any donations made will support various relief and recovery efforts in Nepal. The money will first go toward immediate needs like food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products and shelter. Later, the money raised will transition to supporting vetted local organizations that are working on recovery efforts. To donate, click here.

Finding the Missing

Here are websites to check on loved ones in the quake region:

Google Person Finder

In the search function, enter information to locate someone who is missing or found, or enter the name of someone who is missing in order to search other entries.

Restoring Family Links

The website has a list of people who have registered as alive and a list of people who have been reported missing. Affected residents can register or report here.

Facebook Safety Check

Those in the area affected by the quake will get a notification from Facebook when they log on asking them if they're safe. People can check the page to see who has checked in and let their friends know they're OK.