People in the Sacramento area with ties to Nepal are worried about family and friends back home after Saturday's catastrophic earthquake.
Uddhav Giri is with the Davis-based Nepalis and Friends Cultural Association. Giri works as a real estate agent and lives in Rocklin. He was born in the village of Saping in the Kavre district of Nepal. Giri moved to California about 24 years ago.
"I met my wife who is American," says Giri, "and that's how I got here."
Giri's parents and sisters still live in Nepal and survived the quake. But some of his friends didn't.
"A few people that I knew very well have lost their lives," says Giri. "They were from the village where I was born and raised. Not a single house is standing in my village."
Sabina Dhakal is a college student at Sacramento State. She was born in raised in Nepal and moved to Woodland with her parents about five years ago. Dhakal says they were stunned by news of the quake.
"We were very petrified," says Dhakal. "And my mom just...she just wanted to go back home."
Dhakal's grandparents are still living in Nepal.
"I called my grandfather," says Dhakal, "and he said he felt the earthquake about 90 times. It's really sad out there."
Dhakal says her brother survived the quake. He still lives in Nepal where he's in his third year of medical school.
"So he's helping out with minor injuries," says Dhakal, "because the hospitals, they have all been blocked and not enough supplies, not enough workers."
Rocklin real estate agent Uddhav Giri's parents still live in Nepal. They survived the quake but can't return to their home for fear of aftershocks.
"They were not doing good," says Giri, "because they have been sleeping outside without much cover and then the next day it rained and the ground is just wet."
Giri says about 3,000 Nepali people live in the Sacramento region. He says one reason they come here is that California has a reputation of being tolerant of other cultures.
"We're trying to figure out how we can be effective at this difficult time to our friends and family in Nepal," says Giri.
Community leaders are planning a candlelight vigil, Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Temple in South Sacramento, 7495 Elder Creek Road. They're also holding a fund drive for earthquake relief.
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