The info in this report is from a conversation I had with Noel Isaacs and Nathan Rieger, who are currently both on the ground in Kathmandu. This info is from 8:15pm on Saturday (Nepal time) – about 9 hours after the earthquake.
The earthquake struck Saturday morning (April 25) during the Kathmandu Vineyard’s weekly church gathering (they meet on Saturday not Sunday). Nathan was just getting up to speak. It was a strong earthquake measuring 7.9. As of 8:15pm on Saturday, there have been 22 aftershocks. The earthquake’s epicenter was between Kathmandu and Pokhara – right near Gorhka. It happened during the day which means that many people were out of their homes, in fields, etc.
As of right now, there are no fatalities but lots of injuries within Vineyard communities. However, the national death toll is rising and the injured are flooding the hospitals. Further damage from aftershocks and the threat of landslides is real.
Of the Himalayan Region Vineyard churches affected, Gorkha is the worst. Reports indicate the village is leveled. Aid will need to be airlifted into this village. Kathmandu and the nearby villages of Champi and Gotgaon are also majorly impacted. We have not heard from Nessing or Gadlang and other cities and villages because the power and phone connections are knocked out and roads are impassable.
There are about 40 Vineyard families who have lost their houses including a number of pastors and leaders. This number is sure to rise. These are our friends. A team from Kathmandu will be travelling to Champi and Gotgaon on Sunday to assess the damage.
The courtyard and residences at the Kathmandu Vineyard are packed with people who cannot return to their homes. Staying warm, providing food and comfort are first priorities.
Initial estimates are $100,000 USD to help these Vineyard families. Rebuilding will cost more.
Please pray for all our whole Vineyard family in the Himalayan Region. Also, pray for all the neighbours and the whole nation, which will be mourning the loss of loved ones, recovering and rebuilding. We are so grateful that the main brick wall in the Kathmandu sanctuary was reinforced last year and the top floor of the residence was removed. The wall would have collapsed and would have resulted in fatalities.