The British Red Cross didn’t hesitate to launch an emergency appeal following yesterday’s devastating earthquake. These ten photos help explain why.

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1. The earthquake claimed thousands of lives and destroyed around 5,000 buildings. It is feared many people may still be trapped under the rubble.

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2. From the moment the earthquake struck, Red Cross volunteers were out in the streets looking for trapped survivors and helping casualties.

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3. Earthquakes measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale cause indiscriminate and large-scale damage – sadly, many children were among the injured.

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4. Given the danger from aftershocks and partially collapsed buildings, 80 per cent of people in the Kathmandu Valley region are still sleeping outside – and rain is forecast over the next three days.

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5. Since the earthquake first hit, Red Cross first aid teams have been working constantly to help an unending flow of casualties.

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6. More than six million people over a spread of 100 kilometres have been affected by the earthquake – the worst to hit the region in 80 years.

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7. The disaster has brought bereavement and heartbreak to thousands of families. Many are still unsure about the fate of their loved ones – though we are helping where we can.

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8. In Kathmandu, where hundreds of old and unstable buildings were levelled, thousands of people have been left injured, homeless and disoriented.

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9. Many structures collapsed entirely. For those caught in the wrong building when the earthquake struck, there was little chance of survival.

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10. Apart from the death toll and physical damage, the disaster has proved a terrifying ordeal for thousands of children caught up in the chaos.

Donate to our Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

Have you lost contact with family members in Nepal following the earthquake? We may be able to help.