A Nepalese restaurant owner from Market Harborough has appealed to the public to give generously to his devastated country’s Earthquake Appeal.
Mr Suresh Thapa, a director at the Avatar restaurant on St Mary’s Road said he had given £1,000 personally to the disaster appeal, and urged the Harborough public to help too.
“I’m originally from Butwal in western Nepal, but my dad and mum are still in Nepal, as are many members of my family” said Mr Thapa.
“In the area where my parents live about 200 houses have been damaged, and many families are without shelter, food and clothes.
“As far as I know, my family and my relatives are OK, but this is a disaster for the whole of Nepal, and the country needs as much help as possible.”
Mr Thapa said he was shocked when he heard the extent of the damage after the initial earthquake, on Saturday, April 25.
“We had not expected so much damage and disaster” he said.
“It is believed 10,000 people have been killed, including many in areas that rescue services have not even reached yet.
“It’s really sad news, and I’m just trying to get the message out there that we have to help the people of Nepal.
“I’m so worried for my family, and for the whole country.”
Mr Thapa said the Avatar restaurant, which means “reborn” in Nepalese, could be a centre for fundraising.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has said the death toll from the earthquake could reach 10,000.
“The government is doing all it can for rescue and relief on a war footing,” he said in an interview with Reuters. “It is a challenge and a very difficult hour for Nepal.”
In the Gorkha region north-west of the capital Kathmandu, the epicentre of the magnitude 7.8 quake, some villages had lost 90 per cent of their houses.
The Nepalese government’s chief secretary Leela Mani Paudel said: “We urge foreign countries to give us special relief materials and medical teams. We are really desperate for more foreign expertise to pull through this crisis.”
The death toll from the stricken country has climbed to almost 8,000 people.
This week the European Union approved 20 million euros in financial support and emergency aid to help Nepal deal with the earthquake.
Nepal is one of the world’s poorest nations. Its economy is built largely on tourism, which has itself been devastated by the earthquake.
If you want to donate money, there are several websites that make this possible, including this one: www.redcross.org.uk/