Nepal earthquake hits home for Shrestha and family

Freshman Maya Shrestha and other students work to provide relief for Nepal Earthquake victims.

Freshman+Maya+Shrestha+and+her+Family+pose+for+a+picture+in+2009.+Her+family+members+were+affected+by+the+earthquake%2C+but+all+are+safe.+%22We%27ve+contacted+all+of+our+relatives+who+live+there%2C+everyone+is+shaken+up+but+safe%2C%22+Shrestha+said.++

submitted by Maya Shrestha

Freshman Maya Shrestha and her Family pose for a picture in 2009. Her family members were affected by the earthquake, but all are safe. "We've contacted all of our relatives who live there, everyone is shaken up but safe," Shrestha said.

Mari Knudson, Cover Story Editor

One’s entire world can be shattered in the blink of an eye without any reason besides the twist of fate. On April 25, in Nepal, hundreds of thousands of people’s’ lives were drastically altered due to a powerful earthquake. The earthquake killed over 7,000 people and injured more than twice as many.

While Nepal lies over 7,000 miles away from St. Paul Academy and Summit School, many students felt the direct impact of the earthquake.

Freshman Maya Shrestha has experienced part of the tragedy of the earthquake through family members.

“My dad is from Nepal, and almost all of my dad’s side still lives there,” Shrestha said. “I woke up on the morning it happened and my told me he heard from Facebook that there was an earthquake in Nepal.”

The initial earthquake was of magnitude 7.8 and hit just northwest of Nepal’s highly populated capital Kathmandu. It has affected more than 6.6 million people in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh combined, and triggered multiple aftershocks and an avalanche in the Mt. Everest region.

Shrestha believes that the extensive media coverage about the earthquake has helped inform her about the enormous amount of damage it caused.

“At first I wasn’t really shaken by it, but after reading more about it and hearing more about it I realized what a big deal it was,” she said.

Additionally, Shrestha’s personal ties with Nepal have increased her understanding of the emotional implications of the earthquake on the people who live there.

My dad is from Nepal, and almost all of my dad’s side still lives there. I woke up on the morning it happened and my told me he heard from Facebook that there was an earthquake in Nepal.”

— freshman Maya Shrestha

“We’ve contacted all of our relatives who live there, everyone is really shaken up but safe,” Shrestha said. “My aunt has been working with a about a hundred orphanages there, trying to help with disaster relief. My uncle went to Nepal last week and brought supplies and money, too.”

“It freaked me out for sure, hearing about all the deaths, and watching all the buildings and temples fall down,” Shrestha said. “I went there in 2008, so seeing places I’ve actually visited crumble is pretty scary, but it’s also nice seeing all of the responses to help.”

Members of the SPA community have been included in the wide response to provide relief for the devastation in Nepal. Student group Students for Social Justice held bake sales at performances of the Spring musical Urinetown and donated all proceeds to organizations participating in disaster relief in Nepal.

Relief efforts have been focused on providing emergency medical services, clean drinking water, and other vital resources to those affected the most by the earthquake and aftershocks. Large relief organizations include The American Red Cross and Save the Children. SPA students looking to help can donate online to organizations such as these or others.

Shrestha’s family has also started a GoFundMe page that can be found here.