Tri-State Nepali Americans react to Nepal earthquake - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Tri-State Nepali Americans react to Nepal earthquake

Keith and Nan Jensen (Photo: Camie Christensen) Keith and Nan Jensen (Photo: Camie Christensen)
Keith and Nan Jansen riding an elephant in India (Photo: Instagram/nanhjensen) Keith and Nan Jansen riding an elephant in India (Photo: Instagram/nanhjensen)

There are nearly 10,000 Nepali Americans in the Tri-State. Many of them have friends and family members who right now are suffering from the ripple effects of Saturday's earthquake.

[Related: Shocks terrify survivors of Nepal quake that killed 2,500]

"I was really worried. I was wondering, I was fearing where they were and if they were together or not and if everything is alright,” said UC student Sanjushree Dongol Singh.

Singh is from Kathmandu, Nepal's capital city and one of the worst hit by Saturday's earthquake. After frantically trying to contact her family, Singh finally learned they are safe but her hometown is not.

"I'm still going back this summer. It's just that everything is going to feel different. The streets that I used to walk, they are completely ruined,” said Singh. "We don't know what the situation there is like so we will definitely need help with food and shelter because a lot of people have lost their homes."

In Wyoming, a fundraiser to help Bhutanese and Nepali refugees start new lives in the United States is overshadowed by the loss facing their home country. Organizers held a moment of silence in honor of Nepal.

"So sad to see temples that have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years completely come down to rubbels,” said Amsu Rajbhan Dari, a Nepal native now living in Cincinnati.

The daughter of one local couple says her parents are trapped in Nepal unable to return home.

Nan and Keith Jensen of Montgomery traveled to India and Nepal for a group tour earlier this month. Since the earthquake, their daughter Camie Christensen says communication has been spotty at best and though her parents are safe, she fears due to airport closures they will not be returning home anytime soon.

"It's scary because we want to get them home. We are concerned for their safety. We want them to come home and it feels like the longer it goes on, the more difficult as far as the humanitarian needs that they have,” said Christensen.

Christensen says her parents are currently sleeping on the front lawn of their hotel that was destroyed by the quake. They have no electricity and no running water.

Nepal is expected to receive immediate aid from nearly a dozen a countries once the international airport reopens.

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