Skip to main content

MN Nepalis mourn earthquake victims at vigil, raise money for survivors

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Hundreds of people gathered for a candlelight vigil at the State Capitol mall Wednesday to show their support for Nepal following an earthquake that's killed more than 5,500 people.

"It's very heartbreaking and especially being here you feel very helpless because you just want to help so many people," Apeckchya Karki, president of the Association of Nepalis in Minnesota, which organized the vigil, told MPR News. "When you hear all these families and community stories your heart is so heavy."

Minnesota is home to about 3,000 Nepalis, Krishna Pathak, vice president of the Association of Nepalis in Minnesota, told the Pioneer Press.

At the vigil, tea light candles were lit in the shape of Nepal, people wore t-shirts and held signs expressing and encouraging support for those affected, MPR notes.

About 500 people attended Tuesday's vigil, many of whom have lost loved ones or are still waiting to hear if family members are OK, the news station says.

In addition to Wednesday's candlelight vigil, the Association of Nepalis in Minnesota has planned a "Shanti Path/Puja" for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Hindu Temple in Maple Grove, according to a Facebook event, where they will pray for the people who have been affected.

So far, the Association of Nepalis in Minnesota has raised more than $55,000 for disaster relief assistance, according to the organization's website. (For information on how to donate, click here.)

The Hindu Temple is also fundraising for victims.

Fundraising efforts continue

Students at colleges across the state are organizing fundraisers to raise money for the 8 million people affected by the April 25 earthquake.

"It's been really frustrating being here, while my parents are there," Jashmin Nakarmi, a sophomore at St. Cloud State University, told the St. Could Times. "They're on the ground. They have a food scarcity, a water scarcity. They don't have a place to go."

Student groups at SCSU – Helping Nepal International and Nepalese Student Association – have been collecting donations for victims, a news release says, and have planned a candlelight vigil for Friday night.

On Wednesday, the groups hosted an art show and silent auction, the St. Cloud Times says, where paintings, drawings and photographs – mostly by Nepali students – drew bids as high as $350.

Student fasts to raise awareness

Sourab Bhatta, a 25-year-old Winona State University student, began camping in the campus courtyard Wednesday to raise awareness for earthquake victims, the Winona Daily News reports. He plans to stay in the courtyard until 6 p.m. Thursday – fasting he entire time.

“It is so hard, it is so hard,” Bhatta told the newspaper. “I’ve had a hard time just trying to focus — just being helpless in a way.”

Survivors of the earthquake, including Bhatta's friends and family, are forced to sleep outside because buildings are too unsafe to be inside, NBC News says. Many survivors also lack food and water.

Bhatta will lead a vigil at 6 p.m. Thursday in the WSU gazebo, the Winona Daily News reports. He's also collecting donations.

Restaurant donating proceeds

The Himalayan Restaurant on East Lake Street in south Minneapolis says it will donate every penny customers spend from May 5 through May 7 to Nepal earthquake relief, WCCO reports.

“There are still thousands of people missing and many thousands injured,” the restaurant said in a statement to WCCO. “Millions more are now without water, food, electricity and shelter and fuel. The Nepali people need our help.”

Next Up

Winter scene snow storm snowfall highway driving traffic - Joe Nelson Feb 2022 4

Winter storm warning for Twin Cities: 6+ inches possible

The heaviest snow could move through the Twin Cities.

police lights

Carver man charged after standoff with police in Prior Lake

The man had been fleeing from police when he allegedly broke into a home and the standoff ensued.


41-year-old Sherburne County man killed after crashing car into ditch

The crash occurred Sunday night in Palmer Township.

Screen Shot 2022-11-28 at 4.01.10 PM

Around 200 rescued after ice breaks free on Upper Red Lake

Red Lake — both Upper and Lower — is the largest freshwater lake in the state.

Screen Shot 2022-11-28 at 9.38.30 AM

St. Paul featured on Hallmark Channel's 'Christmas Cam' livestream

Downtown's dazzling display can be viewed from anywhere in the world.


Charges: Drunk driver almost struck Bemidji parade spectators

The man told police he was trying to attend the parade himself.


The SCHEELS Experience

Whether looking for reliable hunting and fishing gear or new clothing and shoes, Eden Prairie SCHEELS is a one-stop shopping experience for the whole family.


Charges: Man fatally shot ex's new partner as he dined at Bloomington restaurant

Criminal charges filed Monday detail an alleged motive in the shooting.


Metallica to perform 2 nights in Minneapolis on 2023-24 World Tour

The heavy metal rock band returns to the state for the first time since 2018.

snow, plow

Tuesday storm to dump plowable snow in Minnesota

Snow should reach the Twin Cities Tuesday morning and fall throughout the day.