Local News

Triangle families await news from loved ones in Nepal

Posted May 12, 2015

Siju Gurung

— An earthquake killed dozens of people Tuesday and spread more fear and misery in Nepal, which is still struggling to recover from a devastating quake nearly three weeks ago that left more than 8,000 dead.

In the Triangle, two families with relatives in Nepal searched for news updates to learn about their loved ones. Siju Gurung said her family is fighting to survive while trying to find food and shelter.

"Thankfully they are OK considering everything that is going on, but define OK to me," she said.

Tuesday's magnitude-7.3 quake, centered midway between Kathmandu and Mount Everest, struck hardest in the foothills of the Himalayas, triggering some landslides, but it also shook the capital badly, sending thousands of terrified people into the streets.

At least 37 people were killed in the quake and more than 1,100 were injured, according to government officials. But that toll was expected to rise as reports began reaching Kathmandu of people in isolated Himalayan towns and villages being buried under rubble, according to the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"It is just us. People helping out other people," Gurung said. "I cannot expect any supernatural thing to come and happen to us. We just need to stick by each other and help each other and hope everyone understands that people over there need us."

Ashish Hada said he understands Gurung's pain - his father is also in Nepal.

"It has been very difficult and I can only imagine how much more difficult it has been for people on the ground over there," Hada said. "The most difficult thing for me is the feeling of being helpless and not being able to do anything from here."

Hada said the people who live in Nepal were rattled by Tuesday's earthquake just when they thought the worst was over.

"We thought, you know people were trying to move on," he said. "Shops had started opening, people were getting together and finally getting to their feet and then this happened."

Gurung and Hada said all they can do is wait and watch.

"They have lost hope, seriously," Gurung said. "They don't know how long they can go on with life like this. I've lost faith. I've seen all those videos of babies dying and I don't know what to believe anymore."

The magnitude-7.8 earthquake that hit April 25 killed more than 8,150 and flattened entire villages, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless in the country's worst-recorded quake since 1934. The U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday's earthquake was the largest aftershock to date of that destructive quake.

Tuesday's temblor was deeper, however, coming from a depth of 11.5 miles versus the earlier one at 9.3 miles. Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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