On April 25th, a massive earthquake hit Nepal, which is now reported to have killed some 2,500 people in Katmandu and the surrounding areas.
The quake also triggered avalanches on Mount Everest, killing at least 17 people there.
Meanwhile a powerful aftershock was felt on Sunday in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, and more avalanches were reported near Everest.
Many residents of the capital, Kathmandu, who lost their homes as a result of the tremor spent a second night outside on Sunday. They are afraid to return to their homes – especially after strong aftershocks hit the region on Sunday.
Vast tent cities have sprung up for those displaced by the earthquake.
The ISKCON devotee community has also been affected, with many devotees injured and having their houses lost. Some of their relatives got buried under the collapsed buildings and died.
ISKCON Katmandu is trying its best to help devotees and people in need by providing shelter, medical help and organizing free food (prasadam) distribution – which is proving especially challenging. Patri Das, ISKCON’s Regional Secretary reports: “the only international airport in Kathmandu has its runway cracked, we now have no connection with the outside world. Broken roads, landslides and demolished houses make it difficult to move around, and basic things including communication, or getting electricity are difficult.”
Since commercial flights are not operating in Katmandu, ISKCON Kolkata is trying to find out a way to work with the government to send food materials, utensils and funds through Air India cargo flights, says Bhakti Purusottam Swami.