SAN DIEGO — A candlelight vigil is scheduled Tuesday evening at UC San Diego for the victims of the massive earthquake in Nepal, where the death toll has climbed above 4,300, with almost 8,000 injured.
The magnitude-7.8 quake struck near the capital of Kathmandu Saturday, and its effects were widespread — killing victims in neighboring India and Tibet and triggering an avalanche on Mount Everest that killed at least 18 climbers.
Eight million people have been affected by the temblor, according to the United Nations, and Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has warned that his nation’s death toll could reach 10,000.
The vigil, organized by the Nepalese Student Association, is set for 7 p.m. at the Geisel Library on the UCSD campus.
At least three San Diego County residents are reported to be missing, with several more stranded.
Dawn Lightfoot was traveling in the area with her boyfriend, Matt Schiavon. The Cardiff residents taught in South Korea before traveling elsewhere in Asia and planned to return to San Diego County later this week.
A Jamul woman said the last she heard of her son, 33-year-old Stephen Kennedy, was that he was headed to a base camp around Mount Everest 10 days ago. She said it’s not unusual for Stephen Kennedy, a native of the East County community, to be out of touch, but he would know his family was worried.
Two San Diego-based relief organizations are gearing up to provide assistance to the region.
International Relief Teams said it has ordered up a shipment of medicines, which will be flown from the Netherlands to Nepal, where it should arrive by the middle of the week.
The group said partners on the scene will keep IRT updated on what’s needed in the Himalayan country.
IRT, best known for sending volunteers to rebuild homes following natural disasters, is accepting donations online or by mail at International Relief Teams, Attn: Nepal Earthquake, 4560 Alvarado Canyon Road, Suite 2G, San Diego, Calif., 92120.
The Rescue Task Force is providing support to the work of volunteers in Asia who are on their way to the quake-stricken area.
The United Nations announced it has released $15 million from an emergency fund to pay for water, medical supplies and shelter. The U.S. Agency for International Development said it would contribute $10 million.
A group of 26 U.S. Army Green Berets who were training Nepalese soldiers when the earthquake struck will remain in the country to help with relief efforts.