VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - As the devastation and the death toll from the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal continued to mount Wednesday, VSU assistant English Professor Dr. Ubaraj Katawal wished he could be there to help his home country recover.
"When I read the news for the first time, I was really sad. I wanted to go back and help anyone; at least one or two people or as many as I could," Dr. Katawal explained.
Dr. Katawal said the majority of his family and friends still lived in Nepal. As of Wednesday, they were safe and he said they were trying to help others as much as they could.
"They were scared; shaken," said Dr. Katawal. "But, they are also very busy helping people."
He said the numerous after shocks had led to a shortage of food and shelter, but the Nepalese military and aid from at least a dozen countries, including the U.S., was helping.
"People are getting help and they are going to go back outside of the valley in safe places because they are also afraid of some kind of epidemics," Dr. Katawal stated.
Dr. Katawal said people in Nepal are used to minor earthquakes, but the last time one this large hit the country was in 1934. "This is the big one. People knew that earthquakes happen, but they did not expect this big," said Dr. Katawal.
As of Wednesday, the country was expecting a long and daunting road to recovery, but Dr. katawal said he was confident the country would be able to recover.
He also said part of what may make the recovery process so long is the numerous historical sites and structures that will have to be rebuilt or restored.
More than 5,000 people had been confirmed dead from the quake as of Wednesday.