The Nepali community is devastated. On Saturday, a 7.8 or 7.9 magnitude earthquake shook much of the country, with continuing aftershocks, landslides, flooding and avalanches. Millions of people are affected and thousands are dead, injured and missing.

Thankfully, I have been able to contact my immediate family members, who are safe for the time being. Some of my relatives’ houses are completely demolished and I still haven’t heard from many of my relatives and friends.

As the epicenter moves from the west to the east of the Kathmandu Valley, there have been many powerful aftershocks, as strong as 6.7, and people are too scared to go inside. My father says there are about 30 families camping out in our yard in Bhaktapur District, braving the wind and rain.

Nepal earthquake April 2015

People search the rubble in the Kathmandu Valley for survivors of a catastrophic earthquake in Nepal.

Laxmi Prasad Ngakliusi/UNDP Nepal

It is snowing at higher elevations, and although media has yet to penetrate much of the rural affected areas, it seems that many villages have been devastated.

There is no power, Internet, or clean drinking water, and scarce medical supplies and food. People are extremely scared. My sister and sister-in-law were on a sixth floor when the earthquake struck. They tried to run outside with my month-old niece and it was so intense that they thought they were going to die.

Luckily, they are all safe. My brother sent me a message that reads, “Kathmandu is completely destroyed.”

I can’t believe what is happening in my country. Dust and gloom covers the Kathmandu Valley and people are confused, hopeless and in grief with hundreds of dead bodies lying on the streets, thousands of people trapped and homes collapsed.

As a poor nation, our infrastructure is already lacking and we do not have the necessary basic emergencies supplies. Overwhelmed hospitals are operating in makeshift camps outside.

When I see the pictures, I cry. The pain and agony of my people is unbearable. We have lost thousands of years of our cultural heritage, as temples, monuments and stupas lay in ruin. Bhaktapur city, once known as  “a city of more temples than houses,” literally collapsed in seconds.

This is the situation of the capital of Nepal, home to more than a million people.

We have not heard from many rural areas of the country, but a report from a village in the Gorkha District stated only four of 1,200 homes remain standing! Massive landslides and flooding are sweeping away entire villages and surviving communities have related their needs for immediate assistance and their fear of what is to come.

CNN and BBC are also broadcasting the videos of avalanches at Mount Everest triggered by the earthquake and aftershocks. More than 19 people have died, and hundreds are missing.

Brutal images are circulating of large numbers of corpses in on streets, dead bodies of little children being taken out from rubbles, people crying and praying for help.

We Nepalese are helpless, shocked and crushed. Our nation is falling apart. Please donate wisely and generously to Nepal’s relief and recovery!

For those seeking reputable organizations to support, the Society of Nepalese in Hawaii 501c3 is raising funds for relief efforts.

There are also a number of organizations providing immediate disaster relief, such as those listed on the Association for Nepali and Himalayan Studies (ANHS) website.>

The ANHS site also provides information including agency platforms, ratings and detailed campaign details in order to help you access how you can make the biggest impact with your donation.

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