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Apr 27

News from Nepal, much prayer needed – Jan Beaderstadt

We just received 2 updates from Jan in Nepal

Nepal Earthquake 1st Report (Scroll down for Follow Up):

We just had another big aftershock a few minutes ago that really shook the building. No damage where I am at. The house appears to be very well constructed. We are anticipating two more days of aftershocks from this massive quake.

The situation in Kathmandu and the country is difficult right now. We are lacking in news. N-Cell is spotty and our internet just came on about an hour ago. I am trying to write people to let them know I am all right.

The death toll is 1800 and rising rapidly as they dig bodies out of the rubble. Many of the buildings are old here. The nine-story Bhimsen Tower that was built in the 1800s toppled over yesterday, killing 46 people. At Kathmandu Durbar Square, they were pulling bodies out of the rubble when I went there to see the damage. Pretty much all of the historic areas (World Heritage Sites) are badly damaged or totally destroyed.

We were at church yesterday when the quake struck. We were just concluding the prayers of the people and I was preparing to do the benediction when the building started shaking. We all thought it was a minor tremor as it started out like one, but gradually picked up energy. Our church was not damaged in any way, and no injuries. The ground felt like a ship in stormy seas as it rolled under our feet, making it very difficult to walk.

I preached a message outside on salvation and if we are in Christ, we have the reassurance that we know where we are going if we should die.

Outside of our church area, walls were down and we started to see evidence that there was extensive damage. In Thamel, one hotel literally toppled over into a water tap (big pit where women do laundry and get water). Tourists were working to pull people out of the rubble. Several died in that collapse.

Many buildings destroyed, primarily older ones that were not in good shape. Stores are closed, and people have been sleeping in the streets or in parks.

From what I can see, the biggest damage came to the major Hindu temples while churches  seemed to go unscathed. Some of the churches are in really poor buildings, and not one of them suffered any kind of major damage. Their windows are not cracked, and the walls still perpendicular.

I have not heard from my business partner Kul since he left for Dhading on Friday. His phone appears to be not working. Dhading was located closer to the epicenter of the quake, so I do ask for prayers for him.

I will try to write more later. The building is receiving some aftershocks from the quake right now.

UPDATE

It’s Monday morning. My internet is working, but N-Cell is not and there is still no electricity. I am working on inverter, which I am using sparcely. The tablet helps as I can use battery, and then charge it up.

The death toll is now approaching 2900 and expected to  continue to rise. I understand that there were some buildings that did collapse in Dhaka as they also felt the quake. The ground continues to shake from time to time with all of the aftershocks.

There are 217 people missing now on Mt. Everest with 17 confirmed dead. I finally heard from Kul. His house is cracked. He said that in Dhading District, 90% of the older homes have collapsed.

The center of the earthquake was near Barpak where I was trekking last fall. Kul said 36 have died up in that village.

The last major earthquake was in 1934 when 10,000 died. It was 8.1 on the Richter Scale. They are predicting the death toll may hit that number or higher.

So far I have another bottle of drinking water (20 litre) which I am using very sparingly. The government doesn’t seem to be doing much. The people are pretty good, very little in the way of looting as people have abandoned their homes and are staying in makeshift shelters in parks and in the streets.

Everyone is afraid that there will be another big quake. We did have a big aftershock yesterday measuring 6.5 of the Richter Scale. That one lasted only for less than a minute; the one on Saturday rocked the earth with its aftershocks for around 20 minutes.

I am at least able to stay in my house and sleep in my own bed. i do sleep in my clothes just in case I have to exit quickly, but the number of aftershocks seem to be lessening. They are saying that we will have probably another 36 hours of aftershocks.

Overall, I’m OK. I have some food and enjoying the time to sleep and relax. I haven’t checked on the Red Panda Hotel. That’s one place I didn’t get to.

Anyway, will keep you informed providing I have power to recharge and there is internet.

Blessings,
Jan

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