Vodafone and Viber offer free overseas calls to Nepal following devastating earthquake

Users can make free calls to and from the country which has suffered heavy damage following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake

Jamie Campbell
Monday 27 April 2015 10:32
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A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu and was followed by multiple aftershocks. Many houses, buildings and temples were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving thousands dead or trapped under the debris
A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu and was followed by multiple aftershocks. Many houses, buildings and temples were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving thousands dead or trapped under the debris

Vodafone Australia and Viber have temporarily switched off charges for calls to and from Nepal following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

This will enable users of both services to call or message any destination without charge and contact Nepalese mobile and landline numbers for free.

This will provide relief to communications in the country which have been compromised by extensive damage to telegraph poles and a widespread shortage of power.

Viber has previously offered free calls in the Philippines to allow users affected by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

Other technology companies are seeking to aid victims and provide information on those affected by the disaster.

Google has reopened in Person Finder tool. The app gathers information from emergency responders and individual users who can enter information for a missing person of someone who has been found.

So far, records for around 5,300 people have been uploaded.

Facebook has also activated a feature called “Safety Check”. It asks people in the areas affected by the disaster to confirm whether they are safe.

If they confirm that they are, it will send out a notification to friends on the social network saying the person is “marked safe”.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “When disasters happen people need to know their loved ones are safe. It’s moments like this that being able to connect really matters.”

More than 3,300 people are dead and 6,500 injured after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake devastated the heavily crowded Kathmandu Valley area of Nepal.

Rescuers are still struggling to reach outer villagers near the quake’s epicentre and thousands remain in open spaces in fear of after-shocks.

The power generated by the tectonic shifts of the earthquake was equivalent to 20 atomic bombs.

Vodafone Australia have said that customers will recieve free calls between Australia and Nepal until 11:59PM on May 1.

Viber have not stated how long the service will be available without charge for.

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