Local woman leaves Nepal minutes before Earthquake

The death toll is climbing to nearly 8,000. With more than 10,000 injures and hundreds of thousands of children without homes.  That is the result of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that leveled parts of Nepal.

Now, a local woman is reaching out to help those affected.  Maggie Bristoe has a different view of Nepal than the rest of us who have seen only pictures.  Her memories are surrounded by happy, smiling friends and a landscape she will never forget.

After she started her journey home, she found the place she will never forget – will never be the same.     

“Our flight left at what was 11:26 a.m. their time, we had no idea that the earthquake hit 30 minutes after we had taken off,” said Bristoe.

Bristoe received devastating news less than an hour after take-off.

We waved and said goodbye and had no idea for hours. We made a dozen friends over there, close friends and we’ve heard from about five of them now,” said Bristoe.

A major earthquake crippling the country of Nepal.  After spending two weeks traveling the country, Bristoe is at a loss for words.

“All of those people had a family and a life and now they may never return,” said Bristoe.

“The 7.8 magnitude earthquake affected millions across the Himalayan nation.  The death toll continues to climb as bodies are found in the rubble,” said Bristoe.
“The Nepali people are very strong, very strong, but when you have concrete smashed on you, there’s nothing you can do,” said Bristoe.

Some of the hardest hit areas are located within the mountains. Exactly where Bristoe and her cousin were staying just hours before.

“We went through the area that the epicenter was at,” said Bristoe.

Bristoe has been in touch with one of her Nepali friends.

“Benji already has gone out and tried helping people, putting out tents, trying to save their family and get in contact with everyone,” said Bristoe.

Now more than ever, Bristoe said they desperately need supplies.

“They need water purification tablets, and shovels to dig the people out still, there are people that have died that are decaying and there’s all this disease waiting to happen,” said Bristoe.

More than one million people are in need of food assistance.  Hospitals are running short on supplies, despite international efforts to bring in aid.

“They need a lot of financial support just to have shelter because they have to bring everything in because they are surrounded by mountains and a desert,” said Bristoe.

Living through a disaster and continuing the search for survivors.

Four U.S. citizens are among the dead.  Rescue and aid workers are still struggling with the scale of the destruction.  Power blackouts, supply shortages and problems getting around are complicating efforts to dig out the bodies.

If you would like to donate to help Benji and the other survivors in Nepal, click here.

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