Rowan sent an update yesterday (Tuesday). Some excerpts below give a sense of what life is like in the capital after the quake.

Dear Everyone,

The building I live in is fairly well made and I haven’t seen any damage at all and last night (Monday night) I slept at home, unlike a lot of people still camped out and also people in open areas sleeping in cars.  A lot of the newish buildings seem fine and I, and at least one ‘expert’ on the BBC, are surprised at how many buildings didn’t fall down.  I’d read predictions of the effect of a major earthquake on Kathmandu which estimated tens to hundreds of thousands of dead and injured but it’s been much less, thankfully.  The difficulty is going to be getting to thousands of demolished villages in the rugged hills.  In Kathmandu it’s easy to help people.

Yesterday I visited some Nepali friends and then went to the church I attend.  There were a few people camped outside it under tarps and I helped carry some possessions and furniture to the church of some people who live nearby in a building that is so cracked it’s unsafe.  The second floor of the church is unfinished and open and now looks like a second hand furniture store – or a disorganised Vinnies!

I then went to a guy’s house some distance away to help him and his father retrieve their family’s stuff.  They are staying at the church as their house is demolished.  We spent a few hours digging through rubble with our hands and a small hoe trying to retrieve their gas bottle (which we could faintly smell leaking from underneath debris below us, and stove, a quilt and some clothing.  A LOT of effort for not very much.

You could pray for the rescue efforts in the hard to reach villages in the rugged hills – what Australians would call mountains – and mountainous areas.  Also that things would settle down in Kathmandu so that life will return to some kind of normality and that we will be able to buy food etc again.

Best regards,