British Columbia

BC nurse tells harrowing stories of earthquake recovery work in Nepal

For B.C. Nurse Dawn Anderson, the most difficult part of the earthquake relief effort in Nepal was seeing the devastating consequences for children.
B.C. nurse Dawn Anderson says witnessing the devastation experienced by children in Nepal has been her biggest challenge. (Dawn Anderson)

For B.C. Nurse Dawn Anderson, the most difficult part of the earthquake relief effort in Nepal was seeing the devastating consequences for children. The veteran disaster rescue worker travelled to Nepal with the Canadian Red Cross' emergency response unit after the first earthquake and was on the ground for the second.

"I remember an 11-year-old girl coming to our clinic and me having the translator ask her where her mom is because we can't treat her under-aged, without a parent," Anderson told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff. 

'And it was when her eyes well up with tears and somebody standing beside her said her mom and sister died that, yeah, it rips away at your heart strings and it gets difficult."

Anderson's relief team was stationed in rural Nepal, only 16 kilometres away from the epicentre of the second quake. Unnerving aftershocks had become a fact of daily life, but no one on the team was expecting a second, large quake.

"It was devastating to see the rest of the structures collapse and the continuous landslides that hit after that," she said. 

"The environment in Nepal is something that has been, logistically, a struggle everyday to overcome. You're smack in the middle of the biggest mountain range in the world."

Now that she's back home in Penticton, Anderson is urging Canadians to continue their support for the Red Cross and other organizations providing relief. Today is the final day the federal government will match contributions to those charities. 

To hear the full audio interview click 'BC Nurse tells harrowing stories of earthquake recovery work in Nepal' above. 

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