MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The rescue effort in Nepal ramped up even more Monday after much needed supplies reached the earthquake-ravaged area.
The fight to save lives is happening throughout the region, but there’s a lot of attention on Mount Everest.
Rescue crews are trying to bring down climbers stranded on the mountain and reach towns that are cut off by the 7.8 magnitude quake.
More than 4,000 people have died and that number is expected to grow.
The destruction in Nepal may be half a world away, but for Samuel Shrestha, it hits very close to home.
“When I heard the news the first time, my heart sank,” he said.
Areas leveled by the 7.8 magnitude quake are places where Shrestha spent his childhood.
“I was born there, raised in western part, and came to Kathmandu for my education,” Shrestha said.
With family still there, he feared the worst.
“It was difficult to reach out,” he said. “So far, we’ve been able to reach 90 percent of our relatives, and they are fine.”
Since Saturday, Shrestha hasn’t put down his phone. Social media allows him to stay connected, even when it’s news he doesn’t want to hear.
“Every time when I read, every time it just sinks my heart,” Shrestha said. “They don’t have any more to lose. So, I feel sad, you know?”
Shrestha’s friends keep sending word of ongoing aftershocks, the constant reminder of what’s been lost.
“When they say, I’m OK…it’s not OK, because there are thousands of people who lost their lives, so, how can we be OK?” Shrestha said.
He’s now waiting to return to Nepal to help his family, knowing home will never be the same.
“It’ll take years to rebuild,” Shrestha said.
A candlelight vigil organized by the Association of Nepalese in Minnesota will be held on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
It will be held outside the State Capitol building.
If you’d like to donate to help the people of Nepal, click here.