Candlelight vigil marks 1 month since deadly Nepal quake

AP News
Posted: May 25, 2015 10:12 AM
Candlelight vigil marks 1 month since deadly Nepal quake

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Hundreds of people held a candlelight vigil in Nepal's capital Monday evening to mark one month since the earthquake that killed thousands of people and affected millions.

About 200 people gathered at the Brikutimandap grounds in the heart of Kathmandu to remember the dead. They held a minute of silence, lit candles and signed messages in memory of those killed.

"We are here to pray for peace of the people who were killed and to pledge that we will rebuild the country," student Suresh Niraula said.

In the afternoon about 400 people held hands to form a human chain around the site where Dharahara tower once stood. The Dharahara tower, built in 1832 with a 213-step spiral staircase, once offered a panoramic view of the capital. Its collapse in the earthquake crushed at least five dozen people.

The 7.8-magnitude temblor on April 25 and another powerful quake on May 12 together killed nearly 8,700 people and injured 16,800 others.

The government and development agencies are seeking money from donors to help rebuild Nepal.

The United Nations appealed for $423 million to cover key emergency sectors for three months.

U.N. official Jamie McGoldrick said Monday that only 22 percent has been funded, "a very big gap in what we need to make sure that response to this crisis is effective, efficient."

Food, tents and medicine are being flown by helicopters to remote villages in the mountains where roads don't exist or where landslides triggered by the earthquake block the way.

"We are not very well resourced for this operation so we need the international donor community to step in. Working in this country is four or five times more expensive logistically than it is in other countries. So we need the resources or we will not be able to operate," said World Food Program's Richard Regan.