THE MENTAL PRESSURE IS ENORMOUS
Posted on 25 maj, 2015 by sundarnepal2003
Two weeks have now passed since the second earthquake in Nepal occured. The mental pressure among the people of Nepal, even amongst our family and village members, is gigantic and hard to describe in words. After the first earthquake there was not a lot left which could collapse. Thus, the second earthquake could hardly create more physical damage, since if you have nothing there is nothing to lose. Instead, the second earthquake created a situation which is totally unsafe and unpredictable for people. Where does it start and where does it end? Will similar earthquakes occur every month now? Every year? No seismologist in the world seems to be able to give us answers to this, and what the future holds for Nepal and our village is impossible to predict.
Yesterday when we spoke to the family, Sofia talked to Sri; Sundar’s oldest sister. She sounded overwhelmed, but at the same time she did not want to burden me with her grief, but rather held up her spirits, as always. To hear the family in such total powerlessness is difficult for us, but we are determined to do what we can for them now and in the future. Everyone lives temporarily in shelters of tarpaulins and tin which is blowing away and rain comes in all the time. People are constantly living in fear for aftershocks or new earthquakes. Instead of slowly returning to what has been, this fear has come to stay. The mental pressure for the people is a catastrophe in itself. It is hard to imagine what it does to a person, and even harder to understand what it does to a whole country. The mental consequences for people which have resulted from these two earthquakes will remain with the people for a long time.
Long after the media attention has finished, long after the aftershocks have ended, long after people can return to work and school, long after houses are re-built. There are consequences which can’t be seen, but which really do exist. It is now up to us to make these visible, to understand and ask, to be there and support. To build houses which people can sleep in, as safely as possible. And we need your help.
Two days ago, we sent yet another acute transfer with money, this time for blankets and doonas to sleep in, which have been much needed, we will add some photos of this. The people in the village say that they now have what they need in terms of emergency equipment, which is the signal that we now and in the future plan to focus on the planning and rebuilding of houses. As you have all perhaps understood, we would like to go back there in the beginning of the autumn and until then we will remain here in the island and our small cottage in the garden in Vibble. Then we will travel again.
Our fundraising is continuing and slowly increasing. There have been some larger collections and some are still happening now, for the benefit of our cause. One of these events was the support gala which Vasilis at the restaurant Nunnan and Bageriet held, together with us on the 9th of May. It was a fantastic successful event in all possible ways. We would like to thank everyone who came along and supported the cause with everything from monetary donations, to music with bands playing on a voluntary basis: Erik Törner & Co, Nostalgiorkestern, El Groupo, Tomas Boström, South Beat Bros., Bobby Mull, Sojde Maurin 3,64m, to sound production and staff: Stefan Olsson PA company and Dimman, to food, drinks and waitering staff through Vasilis and Simon Kanellos with all of your staff, to advertising: Gotlandish Newspapers, Gotlands Allehanda and Swedish Radio Gotland as well as to the amazing atmosphere created through all of you who stayed from half an hour to the whole evening!
Another lovely initiative which has been taken and monetary support in help of the cause is of course from Ica Maxi with Dino and Cilla Larsson at the core, we would like to directly thank them for their support. Furthermore, we have received a donation from Boys help organisation, The Way Out Gothenburg (Vägen ut Göteborg), the church collect from Visby’s Cathedral Kent Concert, Vårdklockans Church and the Southern Gotland Congregation (Sudrets församling), initiative and collection from Class 2 in Klinte School with Rose-Marie Grahn at the centre as well as fundraising from the Nepal After Work evening at Family Focus (Familjefokus). We would also like to thank Meg and Samuel Johansson who help us to translate the blog into English.
A THOUSAND THANKS AND A THOUSAND MORE THANK YOU’S TO ALL OF YOU WHO MAKE THE FUNDRAISING AND THIS PROJECT POSSIBLE!
A new powerful earthquake in Nepal! 7.3 on the Richter Scale, but this time north east of Kathmandu with an epicentre near Mount Everest. This earthquake was closer to Kathmandu than the last one. We have been in contact with our village Tholo Gaun, the neighbouring village Mali Gaun and everyone, including our family are alright, but now the whole village is sheltering under tarpaulins again, waiting with fear for after shocks which are still large. Sundar’s sister Shanti, brother in law Santosh and 14 year old niece Asmita were down in Bhaktapur and a house almost fell on them, but they miraculously survived and they are now back in the village. It’s hard to fathom that such a large earthquake has occured again, and that everything starts again. We will update with more information as soon as we know more. Thanks for thinking of us, our family and our village.
The fundraising for our village is now more important than ever. Join us to re-build our village again.
Greetings from us to Tholo Gaun och Mali Gaun,
We try to understand your situations as best we can. I would like to make an attempt to explain what our intentions are in trying to help you. Three weeks ago, when we visited Tholo Gaun and Mali Gaun, we were greeted with such respect and love which we will never forget. I actually have no right to interfere with how your villages are run and how you handle your affairs, but there are a number of reasons why my family and I always have you in our thoughts since Saturday when the earthquake took place. One reason for us thinking of you is that we know Sundar for almost 7 years now. I consider him as my own son and therefore his problems are my problems. He is now married to my daughter and I think of him like one of my own children. The other reason that we want to support you at this moment is that we will never forget how wonderfully you welcomed us when we visited you. The wedding we were a part of together with you has affected us deeply. The day after I arrived home, I wrote on Facebook that this trip had changed me as a person. I think important meetings between people can change us, perhaps even such meetings can change the world a little. Finally, I would ask you to try to trust that our intentions are good. We are trying to raise and send you money by organising it ourselves – no governments are involved. We are also concerned when we hear that the money we send creates disagreement between you. We would therefore ask you to try to understand that all the money we collect will go to your villages without taking anything for ourselves. In addition, it is our belief that if people in Sweden will continue to give money, it will have to be Sundar’s family house in Tholo Gaun that is to be rebuilt first. We simply cannot support everyone at the same time. We sincerely hope that the money will be enough for more than one house. With great respect.
Yours Sincerely, Samdi Gardarfve
FOOD ARRIVES TO MALI GAUN
During the day we received a message that the food has arrived to the neighbouring village Mali Gaun, where Sundar’s sister and childhood friends live. We even received a message of thanks which Mali Gaun express: ‘Donation from Sweden by Sundar dai and Sopheya. Your small help improved a situation to some extent…..Thank u so much for your loyal help from the side of Maligaun’s victims who has suffered by Earthquake’. We also heard that those who have money and can support themselves have chosen not to take the rice we have sent, for the benefit of others who have nothing. Some pictures below show the sharing of rice in Mali Gaun!
What now worries us to some extent, is this: the tarpaulans for building the temporary shelters have run out in the shops in Bhaktapur! We are now thinking about how we can try to get a delivery to the area, or alternatively find another place to buy them. But we have no idea whether that is possible! If the villagers do not get the possibility to build adequate shelters, there is a catastrophe at hand and sickness in the village will begin to spread. The tarpaulins which people are sheltering under at the moment are not enough for the better shelters which need to be built before the rain period and storms arrive. We have asked the people in our village Tholo Gaun to count the numbers needed for their shelters, in terms of tin and tarpaulins. We will pull all strings that we can to then try and get these to the people who need them.
If you who are reading this have any contacts and resources which could be useful, you are warmly welcome to contact us on Facebook on the page ‘Save Tholo Gaun – our village in Nepal’ in Swedish it is called, ‘Rädda Tholo Gaun – vår by i Nepal’. We can also be reached via our Facebook pages Sofia Gardarfve, Sundar Tamang or through sending a comment on this page . We will continue to update the blog with information about the situation.
Join in and re-build our village! Our account number is:
IBAN-number:SE09 9020 0000 0902 3832 9781
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THE DAY OF HOPE IN THOLO GAUN
Posted on May 1st, 2015 by sundarnepal2003
Last night we were woken at 3am with a phone call from Nepal. Sundar’s father, brother in law and 6 – 7 of the men from different families in Tholo Gaun, and just as many from Mali Gaun, were waiting down in Bhaktapur. They wondered, ‘when will we get the money?’ Sundar says that the Western Union doesn’t open until 10am so they will have to wait. ‘What did they say?’ asked Sofia when they have hung up. ‘They are waiting in Bhaktapur and are ready to get the money for food and tarpaulins. They are in agreement, they are excited and I could hear the hope in their voices again!’. We hug each other and feel that now, NOW, we are really close. Two hours pass, they ring again.
‘You must wait a few more hours’ says Sundar, ‘eat food, drink tea!’. ‘We have already done that!’.
Three hours later it is 8 o’clock and we wait to go in to Visby to Forex/Western Union to send the money. At a quarter to nine they call again, ‘We have booked all of the food, but the shops close in one and a half hours, at 2pm Nepalese time. This is twenty minutes after Forex in Visby has opened. ‘OK’ we say. ‘If we don’t make it, it will be too late and they won’t be able to get their food until tomorrow’. The food from the Red Cross has almost run out, we need to get the food NOW! We drive in and literally hang on the door until 10am, race to the first available checkout, at the same time as trying to fill out all of the paperwork with shaking hands, whilst explaining to the cashier what we wish to do.
The young cashier takes good care of us and twenty minutes later we stand outside with figures which will be needed to identify the money in Nepal. Fantastically pleasing news was that Western Union completed the transaction of sending the money to Nepal for free! Normally we would have had to pay hundreds of Swedish crowns per 1000 SEK. So wonderful! Now each and every coin will go to the village, without the need for us to add money for fees and charges!
They just make it, take out the money and buy oil and rice for all of the families. They call and thank us. Team work in the village is now working and hope can be clearly heard in their voices! Sundar hangs up the phone, and it can be seen that for the first time since the earthquake, he can relax. A little later in the evening, we get pictures of how they have handed out the rice and oil, as well as the temporary shelters which are starting to be built out of bamboo, tin and tarpaulins. The pictures are posted at the end of this blog entry. Together with the pictures, we get this message: ‘When the situation of the village was so terrible. Everyone in the village is in this situation now. Giving the rice and the oil from your side. Thank you dae (big brother), keep helping us, thank you so much’. Another man in the village writes, ‘I would like to thank you so much for you and the Swedish people and relatives. When everyone is in trouble, in the situation of need, you and all have truly helped the village’.
They even send pictures of the destroyed houses. Even the houses with cracks, which have not totally collapsed, are so damaged that they could fall apart at any time; nobody dares to go near them. On Saturday we send the rest of the money from Reningsborg. This money will now allow everyone to manage for several weeks in terms of food, and they will be able to build shelters for the worst storms which are expected.
I don’t know how many times we have used this expression in the last few days, but once again, on behalf of the villagers and ourselves, A THOUSAND THANK YOU’S to Kjell Madsen, Sofia’s previous practical placement supervisor at the School of Social Studies, who contacted Reningsborg and made all of this possible. And A THOUSAND THANK YOU’S to Reningsborg for your invaluable gift and contribution!
We have received news that Uncle Johan’s consignment from Hong Kong is now on its way, the last picture shows Sofia’s little cousin Allan next to part of the delivery. This delivery will mean amoungst other things, solar powered chargers for telephones, so that we can have more contact with the village. At the moment it looks like the electricity won’t be expected back for a month … They have even sent food, chocolate, biscuits and loads of love!
This evening we will be at the Walpurgis Eve Celebrations in Linde, where the collect as well as a gift from the trading shop Gahms in Fardhem who usually sponsor the fireworks, will be given to us.
Marcus, Sofia’s father’s cousin, makes a speech in the evening and says something like this, ‘We hear about the earthquake in Nepal and it feels so far away. But there is a Gotlandish girl who just got married to a Nepalese boy a few weeks ago. Many people in our congregation, relatives of the bride, were a part of the wedding in that village. And all of a sudden it doesn’t feel so far away anymore. Instead, it has now become very close.’
Your help is invaluable, your thoughts, donations, individual initiatives and ideas. Everything is invaluable for us, and for our village. Once again, we would like to take this opportunity to give thanks for this support, from the bottom of our hearts. But there is still a long way to go. Join in and build up our village again!
Our account details are:
IBAN-number:SE09 9020 0000 0902 3832 9781
Thank you for your donation!
ACUTE HELP – FOOD AND TARPAULINS
Posted on April 29th, 2015 by sundarnepal2003
Today we received news that the organisation ‘Föreningen Reningsborg’ in Angered, Gothenburg deposited 50 000 SEK for the acute help to our village Tholo Gaun and our neighbouring village Mali Gaun! There is an article published at this website in Swedish with more detailed information (see http://www.reningsborg.se) We are overwhelmed by this notification and this donation, which could not come at a better time than now! We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
We have difficulty contacting the family and the village again, since the solar panels which were used to keep telephone batteries alive have now run out. However, we did recently have contact with Sundar’s uncle who will travel to Bhaktapur early tomorrow morning, together with Sundar’s brother in law Santosh. They are going to receive the funding from Reningsborg and buy rice and tarpaulins with the money. They will be able to make temporary shelters by using the tarpaulins together with bamboo and tin which can be found in the village. This will protect people from the worst of the rain period, and keep out storms, rain, sludge and mud.
Sofia’s uncle Johan, has also arranged 50kg of free freight space on a private plane/helicopter which is flying from Hong Kong and landing on Sunday in Nepal. For these 50kg, Johan has bought solar cell chargers for mobile phones, LED lights, head torches, lentils, mung beans, sugar, chilli, nuts, red and white beans, salt, 5 kilos of rice and Toblerone.
In addition to all of this, our account has now reached 95 000 SEK! We have decided to wait with this to see what the development from now will be. We hope to be able to use this primarily to re-build the houses after the rain period ends. For the time being, we will send these donations we have received from Reningsborg, Johan and the private resources which Sundar and Sofia can afford. Once again, we will wait and see what will be needed later; the main thing now is that the family and our friends and relatives have food and a roof over their heads.
After days of uncertainty and frustration, we have now found a kind of rhythm. For the most part, it has been YOUR unbelievable generosity, thoughts and prayers which have been a huge help to keep us going. Many initiatives have been taken amongst all of you, where money has already been deposited and is still being donated! In addition to the incredible sum which has been raised so far, we also have:
– A support gala which we have planned and arranged together with Restaurang Bageriet where Sundar works as a chef. This fundraising event will be on Saturday the 9th of May between 4pm and 10pm. There will be food, music, and much more. More information will come soon!
– Ulrika Pileborg from Gotland, is making crocheted owls for the benefit of our cause.
– Fundraising from Havdhem Church’s Spring Concert with the Gotlandish Men’s Choir, Gotland
– Collection from the West Equmenia Church mass last Sunday, Gotland
– Proceeds from Joel Silva’s concert Nostalgitripp with Joel Silva and Friends in Tjelvar Church last Saturday, Gotland
– Max Berner-Branzell is organising a photography exhibition with photographs from our village that he took there last year, for the benefit of our cause.
– Charlotte Kavhed is sewing bags for the benefit of our cause.
– Fund Raising from the Country Women’s Party Centerkvinnorna from Lau, Gotland.
– Gerd Pettersson in Gerum is arranging and leading a walk and raising money. This will take place in Gerum tonight.
– Sofia’s grandmother Solveig is planning a lottery.
– Tomorrow night on Walpurgis Eve, we will be in Lindeberget in Linde on the south of Gotland for the traditional bonfire and singing celebrations. The collect will go to our fundraising- come and join in!
We will continue to update the blog about the situation and plans and information. As soon as possible we will post updated pictures, but the small amount of power left in batteries must be prioritised towards telephone calls right now.
Join in and help build up our village again. Our account number at Länsförsäkringar is:
|IBAN-number:||SE09 9020 0000 0902 3832 9781|
Every coin is important – one brick costs one Swedish crown!
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SIGNS OF LIFE AND HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Posted April 28th
We had a call from the village! What we thought would be weeks of anxious waiting was thankfully just 24 hours. It is Sundar’s sister’s husband Santosh who called (picture). He and a few other men from the village went down to the school which is right below our village, beside Doleshwor Temple. The school has several solar paners there now, where three or four villages can charge their mobile phones to contact each other and the rest of the world. The aftershocks are less, he said. As a confirmation of that, an aftershock occurs whilst we are talking. My brother in law Santosh says ‘wait, there’s an aftershock ..’ silence and a few minutes of waiting, and then ‘ok now it’s passed’. This is a big difference from the fear and anxiety screams which we heard during phone calls on Saturday and Sunday during aftershocks. My brother in law Santosh tells us that thieves are now roaming free around the area, and steal whatever is left behind in the rubble. Because of this, the village is now being organised by the men who walk around in teams, around the clock, to watch over and protect the village. Sundar’s father is a leader for one such group, who are now further up in the village. That’s why we can’t talk with him now.
We can hear the energy in Santosh’s voice, which is so well needed in a leader and someone we can trust. Sundar asks him to tell us more about the situation with food, temporary housing and how everyone is. My brother in law Santosh says that now people who can, have begun to build with bamboo which can be found in the village on the ground. They are also using tin and tarpaulins which can work as protection and a temporary village until it is possible to begin re-building real houses. We ask what we can help with and he says that food is the most important right now. The small amount which existed has almost run out and people have started fighting over what is left. We ask Santosh to go around to the families and ask what each family needs, and the very next day (read today) to go to Bhaktapur at the foot of the mountain, to buy these things. Santosh’s last words before we hang up are, ”Sweden has given us hope. You have given us hope. We didn’t know where to start and how to start but now we can start something.”
HELP ORGANISATION HAS ARRIVED During the next morning, which was a few hours ago today, we have been in contact with several people from the village. It seems that the Red Cross is now in the area and has promised tarpaulins and rice. After an hour we receive news that the village is now getting these supplies. We have also heard that the local shops in Bhaktapur have begun to open again. They are apparently charging exorbitant prices for food, a 30kg sack of rice before the earthquake cost 140SEK (1400 Nepalese rupees) now costs 500SEK (5000 Nepalese rupees). The government are doing what they can to control this by issuing warnings, we wait to see how that will work.
During this first acute stage, we are trying to find what our role can be. What happens, for example, when the Red Cross and no longer in the village? How long will they be there? How much will the village be able to mobilise together? How can we help in the best way? If they cannot mobilise, how can we help individuals? Our dream would be that our mobilisation here in Sweden can inspire them to gain the strength to mobilise themselves. What will happen if they can’t do that? How can we support the community at large apart from our family? These are questions and thoughts which we are dealing with at the moment.
THE MONSOON PERIOD
Now the struggle against the monsoon period begins for the family and village. This morning it has been raining a lot and the bamboo poles in the ground surrounded by tin walls and roof, which the villagers are building, easily let in rain … it is slow and heavy work. Our family’s shop, which was built in this way previously and survived the earthquake, is now leaking. Even if it protects against the worst weather, it is easily understood that it’s no enviable way to live. Sundar’s mother told us that the whole shop where they could gather women, children, and the elderly during the earthquake is now totally flooded. ”Where will we live now?” she wonders. They are also building a shed. On top of this, everyone is exhausted after several days of fear, anxiety and sleeplessness. What the future will entail is like a dark cloud over our family and most of the people in the village.
84951 SWEDISH CROWNS (SEK)
We are totally overwhelmed by the sum of money which we now have in our account! There are no words to show how much this means for us, our family and our village. The gifts, support and thoughts which have been given, are crucial to stop frustration from getting to us. It has been a battle and long discussion about how we can use the money raised so far in the best possible way, to meet the needs of most people. We want and need to help our family, but most of all Sundar feels frustration about this. We want to help everyone in the whole village, NOW.
We have a preliminary plan for how to build. To begin with, nothing can be built until the monsoon period ends. This rain is now only just beginning, and will go on until the end of August. Hence, our most rational and logical plan is to collect as much money as we can until then. At that time, we will travel down and start building houses as quickly as possible. We have calculated some numbers for one sustainable house, a house which can withstand an earthquake like this one. A house where our family and other families from the village can live without the fear that life will literally fall apart. Such a house requires: masses of bricks, cement, stones and sand, masses of concrete steel, and many wooden beams.
A house built with such materials can withstand an earthquake and give people a chance and a possibility to re-build their lives again, without fear for coming earthquakes. Since something we have now understood, is that this event is far from the last natural disaster which will occur. Two houses of this standard have been built in the past, and these are the only two remaining houses left in the village today. They bear signs of cracks and damage, but they are still standing. So to the cost of such a house: we have calculated that 150 000 Swedish crowns (SEK) can build a single level dwelling, including materials, labour and transport. This feels like an enormous amount of money, especially when we think of the 68 houses which are totally destroyed and uninhabitable.
No matter which way we look at the situation, there are such enormous sums of money needed, amounts which we cannot even dream about. Our thoughts now are therefore these: despite how unimaginable this feels for us, we must start with our house and our family. In order to help others we must help ourselves first. BUT we plan to build a large enough house, a house which can work as a meeting place. This can be a central point in the community, a house with a unique function where our village can meet; a place and platform and starting point for the re-building of the entire village. A house where people can come in times of rain and storms, where as many people as possible can move in. A house to withstand whatever may come from the elements. But we will not stop after 150 000 SEK and just one house. We want to help everyone and we will try our utmost to do this.
From the 68 houses which now lie in ruins, it is known to us that more people will be able to start building themselves. They have already explained that they have income or other savings to use. We are unfortunately still counting on at least 40 houses which will have no possibility to re-build sustainable houses alone.
FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS
On behalf of our family and our village, we would like to thank everyone for all of your support, all of your thoughts, prayers, and donations we have received. We will continue to raise money until we can see that the village is re-built with sustainable houses. Today we have almost two thirds of a house – 84 901 SEK – just after three whole days! It is with great humbleness that we receive these donations. ”Thank you” does not even come close to what we wish to express. We now continue what has become the project of our lives. We will continue to write updates about the situation and our plans and information.
Please help us to re-build our village. Please share.
|IBAN-number:||SE09 9020 0000 0902 3832 9781|
FEAR FOR MORE QUAKES
Posted on April 27th, 2015 by sundarnepal2003
We no longer have contact with our family and the village. The last contact we had was with Sundar’s dad on Mum’s telephone yesterday around 3.30pm Swedish time. The food was running out and the water was undrinkable. After a few hours, we read about a friend in the neighbouring village who wrote on Facebook that it has started raining and storms have come again: ”God damn heavy rain with heavy storm meantime heavy earthquake and no house…we might not be tomorrow…..what the hell”.
Our family and our village are sitting under a tarpaulin in the rain and the storm, while the aftershocks continue. They are praying for this to end. How this ends could take weeks before we will find out, now we are resorting to news from other villages where people still have battery power left on their telephones. We follow news reports from around the world. Nobody has been able to either enter or leave the village since the earthquake began, and nobody knows how much longer this will take.
We are totally overwhelmed by all of the thoughts, prayers and donations which have been sent. At the moment we have long discussions about how to administer funds in the best possible way for the villagers. So far there is nothing we can do, banks and ATM’s have collapsed into rubble, or they are too damaged to function. The remaining banks are understandably closed, due to these extreme circumstances. So our plan now is to come up with a sustainable plan for the time when the aftershocks have ceased and we can send money again. We are thinking so far, that the process should happen in two steps. Firstly we must provide acute help with temporary housing, food and water. Secondly, we must work towards building sustainable houses.
Now the monsoon is coming, the rain period which will continue until the end of August. During the monsoon, everything will become muddy, including roads which are not asphalted. These roads consist of mud and stones. No houses can be built in the village or in the majority of places in Nepal, during the monsoon time. As a result of that, our plan is to wait for the monsoon to finish, and then start the re-building with sustainable houses which can withstand earthquakes. Until then, we will work to raise as much money as possible and put all of our resources together, to then share and administer in the best way and with regard to needs. We will return to Nepal as soon as the opportunity arrives.
We will continue to update the blog with the current situations, plans and information. Join in and help to build up our village again.
|IBAN-number:||SE09 9020 0000 0902 3832 9781|
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IN A VILLAGE ON THE ESCARPMENT OF THE HIMALAYAS
Posted on April 26th, 2015 by sundarnepal2003
Three weeks ago today we got married in a house, in a village, south of the enriched world heritage city of Bhaktapur in Nepal. The house and village is today totally destroyed and the people are completely without a roof over their heads, without food, electricity, and soon even drinking water. The village, which is called Tholo Gaun (which means large village), is in ward 5 in the Sipadole district. There were seventy houses and they are all soon to be demolished to the ground.
The earthquake, which occurred yesterday at 11.58am, had its epicentre west of Kathmandu, and measured up to 7.9 on the Richter Scale. The whole country has been paralysed and the death toll continues to rise for each passing hour. Our family and the people in the village are unharmed, but have lost all of their houses. Buildings which have not yet been destroyed are largely damaged, and are now threatened by aftershocks which bring immediate danger for collapse. Nobody dares to enter buildings to get things out. The houses which are still barely standing have totally collapsed inside and soon the walls will give way. The latest reported aftershock measured 6.7 on the Richter Scale. Nobody knows how long such strong aftershocks will continue, but people talk of weeks. The devastation is extreme for the people in the village. Many have invested their life savings in their homes, which are now totally destroyed or close to collapse.
One of the recent contacts we had with our family was with Sundar’s mother, around four hours ago. She told us that last night the whole village slept on the road, sheltering under a tarpaulin directly below the village. Slept is an exaggeration, since they have not been able to sleep. The aftershocks continue to vibrate and Mum has heard that they will continue for weeks. Our house has survived the night, but Mum says it will collapse any minute, since it is totally demolished inside and the cracks in the walls are enormous. We end the call and say that we will call again soon. As soon as we have hung up, a friend from the village sends a voice message, screaming with fear,”everything is falling, everything is falling”. This was during the earlier aftershock which measured up to 6.7 on the Richter Scale. They will send photos later, we will post them here. We will also post a picture of Sundar’s mother, right before we left 8 days ago.
There is no electricity in the village, nobody counts on it coming back long before the aftershocks have finished. Sundar’s dad’s mobile phone has already run out of batteries, Sundar’s mother has a few percent left. Hopefully we will be able to talk to them one more time, before we will no longer have any idea about when we can hear their voices again.
During the course of three weeks, we have experienced the best and the worst days of our lives.
We are now planning how to re-build our village again, how we can best help at this time and also after the aftershocks have ceased. We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for all of your thoughts, prayers, love and all of the donations which have flooded in so far. This is a fantastic start and help for the re-building and it feels like a light in the darkness we are surrounded by at the moment.
To do something active which we know will contribute and create hope for the re-building of the village is the only thing we can do now. We will continue to update the blog with the situation and with plans and information. Join us and help to re-build our village with a donation. Our account number at Länsförsäkringar is:
|IBAN-number:||SE09 9020 0000 0902 3832 9781|
You can also support the cause in Sweden by swishing money to Sundar’s number: 0700178445.
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