CT organizations pledge aid for Nepal quake victims

Organizations in Connecticut are looking to assist those affected by the devastating earthquake in Nepal that has claimed the lives of more than 2,500 people.

An injured child receives treatment outside Medicare Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, April 25, 2015. A strong magnitude-7.9 earthquake shook Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley before noon Saturday, causing extensive damage with toppled walls and collapsed buildings, officials said. (AP Photo/ Niranjan Shrestha)

An injured child receives treatment outside Medicare Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, April 25, 2015. A strong magnitude-7.9 earthquake shook Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley before noon Saturday, causing extensive damage with toppled walls and collapsed buildings, officials said. (AP Photo/ Niranjan Shrestha) (4/26/15)

NORWALK - Organizations in Connecticut are looking to assist those affected by the devastating earthquake in Nepal that has claimed the lives of more than 2,500 people.

The 7.8-magnitude quake also triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing 18 people at its base camp. Reports say one American was among the dead. Officials say that search-and-rescue efforts are still underway, which could increase the death toll.

Of those that survived the earthquake, scores have been displaced and are now seeking shelter under tents in the streets.

Many countries and organizations have pledged aid for the victims, including the Nepalese Association of Connecticut and Save the Children, a nonprofit based in Fairfield.

Viju Adhikari, a member of the Nepalese Association of Connecticut, says that his family is among those displaced. Another member, Ram Hari Bhandari, says his wife is in Nepal, and is staying outside in a tent, scared.

Gary Shaye, senior director of humanitarian operations at Save the Children, says that health issues are among the challenges victims will face in the months to come.

"Concerns are about water and sanitation," Shaye says. "This is a city that had inadequate water and sanitation before. All of this is exacerbated right now."

In the meantime, the Nepalese Association of Connecticut is appealing to the United States and the international community for help.

The Connecticut branch of the Society of Nepalese in America has also started a website to collect donations for earthquake victims.

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