Local Nepalese reach out to family back home after devastating quake

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Namaste Indian Kitchen in Riverside has become a gathering place for Nepalese living in the Inland Empire as they watch the rescue efforts going on back home.

A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck about 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, Nepal's capital, Saturday. The quake destroyed temples and other historical landmarks, and triggered avalanches on Mount Everest.

Restaurant owner David Charan Ghimire, like so many others, finally reached his family after hours of trying to get through.

He said the images of the damage are gut-wrenching because so many lives were lost and so much history was destroyed. Those in Nepal said the shaking seemed to last forever.

"It went for like three minutes long so it was really devastating. The epicenter was in Kathmandu. That's where my family lives so that was a really devastating situation to hear," said Navina Khamal of Moreno Valley.

Most people have been able to reach their loved ones by phone or through social media, but others received heartbreaking news.

Saroj Manandhar, of Chino Hills, said his immediate family was OK, but that his second cousin died after being hit in the head with a brick.

Many local Nepalese are praying more will be done to help those still trapped under the rubble.

Ghimire said more than 200 Nepalese families live in the Riverside area. They will be meeting within the next day or two to talk about what they can do to help those in their homeland recover from the deadly tragedy.
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