This article was originally published in the Harvard Gazette on April 27, 2015
University mobilizes aid and medical help, tracks its visitors to area
By Alvin Powell, Harvard Staff Writer
With Nepal struggling to deal with the enormous calamity caused by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck north of Kathmandu Saturday, Harvard is mobilizing to help with technical and medical assistance and reaching out to faculty, staff, and students visiting the region.
Harvard’s Global Support Services (GSS), through its Harvard Travel Assistprogram, evacuated one University employee and one student who were traveling in the region together. Officials also contacted two other students to ensure they were safe.
“We could not have done this without the tremendous work of our IEMT [International Emergency Management Team] and network of Harvard contacts,” said Steve Taylor, associate director of safety and security for GSS, who led the response. “We ascertained that the two remaining students are staying outside of the impacted area, and we’re confident that they are in a safe place.”
Because of the hazardous situation, Taylor said officials are advising against travel to the region except for trained emergency-relief personnel. A high hazardous rating means that undergraduate students cannot travel to Nepal, and graduate student travel will require consultation with GSS to ensure students have the latest information and security resources.