The massive earthquake that occurred in Nepal at 11.56, on the 25th of April 2015, was the greatest disaster recorded since the 1934 Nepal-Bihar. It lead to huge losses in terms of human lives – at least 6,700 people were killed and more than 10,000 injured. The magnitude recorded was 7.8 or 8.1 on the Richter Magnitude Scale with a Mercalli Intensity of IX (Violent). Many important buildings were destroyed as well.
Many organizations reacted to such loss and raised funds to ease the lives of those affected by the disaster. Among them, the behemoth social networking Facebook collected donations to support Nepal. After two days these donations reached the impressive sum of $ 10 million.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and chief executive, posted on the social network: “We gave people the option on Facebook to support local relief efforts. In two days, more than half a million people donated and raised more than $10 million to support the International Media Corps relief effort”. Moreover, he said that the company will donate an extra $ 2 million for the campaign. The money will be used to help the communities in the areas that were affected the most. A donation button for contributions was implemented on the site.
He was impressed by how many people joined this charitable act and donated to relief the pain of those in distress. Over seven million people living in Nepal also used the social network to connect to relatives and friends worldwide. Facebook activated an option called “safety check” that enabled them to let other people know they were safe. Thus, about 150 million other users could be notified that their friends from Nepal were alive. Their application, WhatsApp messenger was also useful to aid workers attempting to find out how to reach affected areas safely.
Millions of dollars have been donated to the cause so far by many other agencies in the world. It is estimated that the economic loss exceeds $ 5 million. Given the fact that Nepal is one of Asia’s poorest countries, it would be impossible to expect them to fund the rehabilitation costs on their own. Their Gross Domestic Product does not go above $ 19.921 billion. Thus, the estimated needed costs for reconstruction represent 20 percent of it, so rescue efforts to help out the population of Nepal are desperately needed. Therefore, in spite of Facebook’s own gain with the campaign, their initiative is quite admirable.
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