Her parents are living in the street because they are afraid to go back into their own home.
Susmita Dahal, president of the Quad-Cities Nepalese Society, communicates with her parents, both of whom are in their 70s, via Facebook.
Dahal is thankful that her parents, who are in their 70s, survived Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake that resulted in a death toll of more than 2,500 in Kathmandu, Nepal. “They spent the night in a small, dinky little car,” she said.
Homes in the area are not considered to be safe because of the quake and the continuing aftershocks. People take turns running into the homes to charge electronic devices so that they can stay in touch with friends and relatives, she said.
A 6.7-magnitude aftershock Sunday, along with continuing tremors, sent residents in the densely populated area out into the streets for safety.
Dahal and her husband Razendra Dahal on Sunday hosted a gathering of 50 members of the Quad-Cities Nepalese community in their Moline home. Those in attendance discussed raising money to send to Kathmandu.
The 62 Quad-City Nepalese families, with about 150 people, all have friends and relatives in the region, said Rad Pandit of Bettendorf. “To make matters worse, it started raining last night,” he said. “Everybody’s in the street.”
Pandit, who grew up in central Nepal near the quake’s epicenter, said that those who have fled their homes have “limited resources,” with a shortage of water and food. “It’s one of the poorest countries in the world. Nepal doesn’t have any kind of infrastructure support,” he said. Schools, temples and other buildings have been flattened, he said, and some homes that were made of mud and stone were demolished.
“There is no sanitation, and no drinking water,” Susmita Dahal said. “It’s a mess.”
Pandit said the group’s goal is to raise at least $50,000. The meeting began with a peace prayer.
Donors can help by sending checks to the Quad-Cities Nepalese Society, 3401 77th St. Court, Moline, IL 61265, or by contributing to the gofundme account at http://www.gofundme.com/sxx63k.
“Anything matters,” Susmita Dahal said. “There is no small donation. It’s about helping people in need.”
The Nepalese Quad-City community will hold a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. today in Vander Veer Botanical Park, Davenport.
Susmita Dahal looked at a Facebook picture that was taken in January, when she visited Nepal. The beautiful buildings she is pictured beside “all are destroyed,” she said.
Because the quake occurred on a Saturday, when stores and schools are closed, many lives were saved, she said.