Nepalese students seek help after quake hits home


By Austin Miller, @AMiller_DE

Nepalese students here are reeling as tragedy struck their home more than 7,500 miles away.

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal about noon local time Saturday. The epicenter was less than 50 miles west of the capital city of Kathmandu. More than 2,500 have died in Nepal, China and India — the two nations that sandwich the small country of more than 27 million people.

Rumbles were felt on the slopes of Mount Everest on the border of China and Nepal, causing an avalanche that killed 17 people.


Ramesh Neupane, a member of the Nepalese Student Society of Carbondale, said the nearly 50 Nepalese SIU students have been notified of their families’ safety.

Neupane, a doctoral candidate in higher education, said he has talked with his mother and uncle, but electricity has since gone out across the country. He said a friend of his was killed during the initial earthquake while the friend was donating blood.

Even after the initial earthquake, aftershocks have worsened conditions. Neupane’s native city of Bhaktapur is some 8 miles away from the capital city. He said people have been sleeping outside because the aftershocks make them afraid to go back inside. The situation has deteriorated with rainfall.

“It’s a very tough time for people in Nepal,” he said. “We all want to do something to help them and bring in the SIUC and Carbondale community.”

He said the group has been in contact with International Student Council and Indian Student Association to set up a way for students to donate money to those in need, but is awaiting approval from the university’s administration on Monday.

“Nepal needs help,” he said.” Everything counts — even a penny makes a difference.”

Austin Miller can be reached at [email protected]