WBTV News

Charlotte area Nepalese people prepare to lend a hand

By Astrid Martinez / WBTV News

Several local Nepalese leaders gathered Saturday afternoon at The Midwood International House after an earthquake struck near Kathmandu.
Several local Nepalese leaders gathered Saturday afternoon at The Midwood International House after an earthquake struck near Kathmandu. WBTV

About 6,000 people of Nepalese origin live in the Charlotte area, according to the Greater Charlotte Nepalese Association. Their small community is distraught after an earthquake struck Kathmandu, Nepal, killing more than 1,400 people.

Several local Nepalese leaders gathered Saturday afternoon at The Midwood International House. They're working with Computer Association of Nepal known as CAN USA and several other agencies across the country to send tactical support to Nepal. Their goal is to send doctors and technology specialists to assist on the ground and asses the damage and need of the people impacted.

Local organizers say their priority right now is search and rescue, finding survivors of the catastrophic quake.

Right now local organizers say they feel powerless and frustrating. They say all the information they have is whatever their relatives in Nepal have been able to tell them and what they see on the news.

Nepalese people in Charlotte say they're having a difficult time communicating and getting through on their land lines to communicate with family. Organizers say they find it easier to communicate with phone apps like Viber and Whats App.

Other people were lucky enough to speak to their relatives. The parents of one Charlotte woman currently in Nepal hiking Everest said they feel relief to be able to speak to their daughter.

"I'm grateful," said Beverly Stumler. "So grateful. We found out about 8:00 this morning. She said there was a major earthquake and that was our first news of it this morning."

While their daughter Ashleigh Stumler lived through the earthquake her parents are concerned about her surviving the aftermath and when she will come back.

The ones who have survived give a grim description of what's happening in the area.

They tell WBTV hundreds of homes are destroyed, in spite of the chaos they say the Nepalese people are resilient and working together to help as much as possible.

Local leaders with The Greater Charlotte Nepalese Association also warm of fraudulent organizations asking for donations and advise that people wanting to donate double check that the group they are donating to is legitimate.

WBTV is a media partner of The Charlotte Observer

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