As aftershocks from the 7.8 earthquake that rattled Nepal this past Saturday begin to wear off, the search to find and locate survivors has intensified. Chabad representatives Rabbi Chezki and Chani Lifshitz who have taken a lead in locating the missing, sheltering and feeding survivors, are also communicating with families abroad, updating them about their loved ones.
“With rain pouring the entire night, everyone piled into the Chabad House and slept here. The building is sound,” said Chani, who slept under one blanket with four of children. “We did not get much needed sleep, but we did wake up early in order to continue our efforts.”
Absent basic staples of rice, eggs or flour that locals depend on for their regular sustenance, local Nepalese, many with young children in their arms, have turned to the Chabad center for food. With the assistance of the Nepal Jewish Relief Fund, Chabad is trying to provide food for anyone who comes knocking.
“Our greatest worry now is to make sure that anyone who comes to the Chabad House should have a hot meal,” the Chabad representative says.
While Israeli trekkers pitch in making and serving the food to the locals, the Lifshitzs continue to field calls from abroad asking about their loved ones. “With the telephones working sporadically, I asked everyone on Facebook to be patient while trying to reach us,” she says, noting that Facebook has become the best way to communicate with them.
Chabad of Nepal and the Lifshitz’s Facebook has also become the place for trekkers to check to see if their family knows that they are well and for friends to communicate with each other.
“There are still scores of people who have not made the connection with their family and friends,” says Chani.
Families are utilizing comments and others posting directly onto their pages. “Our son Saar… went on the Tamang Heritage Trail, if anyone is on that trail and has telephone access, please update us,” one father writes.
One sister posted photos of her 24 year old brother Avi, saying that she has no clue exactly where he is on the Himalayan ridge. “If anyone know where he is, please contact us,” she writes. When her brother was found, she updated everyone that her brother was on the way on a jeep.
Meanwhile all the information is being updated on the walls of the Chabad House. When additional information comes up of those that were missing, they updated by Chabad on their Facebook page.
“These individuals were found safely,” Rabbi Chezki writes, as he goes back to assisting the many who continue show up at the Chabad House in need of material, physical and emotional support from the recent trauma.
To assist relief efforts visit the Nepal Jewish Relief Fund.