New Jerseyans join efforts to assist Nepal earthquake victims
New Jerseyans are joining in the international effort to assist the victims of the Nepal disaster. A powerful earthquake, measured at 7.8 on the Richter scale, struck this already-impoverished country Saturday.
Dianne Concannon of the Red Cross of Central New Jersey says they are working with those in the earthquake area.
"There are specialists from the American Red Cross who are en route, if they are not there already, assessing the needs of the Nepal Red Cross and sending additional teams," Concannon said.
According to Concannon, the mission in Nepal is different because of the nature of the disaster. The Red Cross Society in Nepal provides search and rescue in addition to their work providing the basic necessities. She said they are also working with blood donation services in the capital area of Katmandu to support the first responders there.
Doctor Tulsi Marharjan is President of Friends of Nepal-New Jersey. He calls the situation there, "very grave." Marharjan said. "A lot of people still don't have electricity, no drinking water, no food and the people started gouging prices and it's just a...sometimes you wonder where the humanity is. Everybody is trying to make a couple of easy bucks. That's the situation at the moment."
Marharjan says Nepal is a landlocked country. So when it comes to relief supplies, "it has to be trucked in from India. And some of the roads are not safe right now." Nepal's single international airport, in Katmandu, is closed at the moment.
SO how can New Jerseyans help the victims? According to Concannon, thos who want to be part of the effort should start by visiting the Red Cross website.
"They can go to redcross.org, and there they will find out the activities updated daily of what the American Red Cross, in addition to the other societies and the Nepal Red Cross as well are doing, and all of the relief efforts that are ongoing," she said.
Dr. Tulsi Marharjan, president of the Friends of Nepal-New Jersey says the organization is taking donations at fonnj.com. He says there is a link to make PayPal donations.
The organization also has two events planned for early May to help earthquake victims. The first is scheduled for May 4 at The Jewel of India restaurant on Route 1 in North Brunswick. The dinner will be held from 5 to 9 p.m.
"There are a number of Nepal natives who work at the restaurant, so the owner of the restaurant is holding this event as a fundraiser," he said.
On May 9, the Friends of Nepal-New Jersey will host an international peace day. According to the organization, Buddha was born in Nepal and one of the tallest Buddha statues is in Princeton. International Peace Day will feature 20 different organizations sponsoring the event. It will be at the New Jersey Buddhist Vihara, 4299 Route 27 in Princeton.