Urbana man hears Nepal earthquake as it happens, fears the worst for his missing friends

URBANA--Ujjwal Ghimire was halfway around the world when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit his home country of Nepal, but he felt as though he was right in the epicenter.

"I was talking with my friend at the time and suddenly I hear a big noise over there," said Ghimire, who moved to Urbana two years ago. "Everyone was shouting and I was thinking like, they are making a prank. But it wasn't a prank. They are running for their [lives]."

Before he could get answers, the line went dead. It wasn't until a short while later that he realized why.

"I called my wife, and she's crying. She's crying over there. It was an earthquake," said Ghimire. "And my wife say to me, 'every home is destroyed here. There is nothing left.'"

More than a week later, two of Ghimire's friends are still unaccounted for, and with more than 7000 people confirmed dead so far, he fears the worst.

"I asked some of my family friends, some people, and they say they are still missing," said Ghimire. "They are still inside the land."

To put his mind at ease, Ghimire plans to return to Nepal at the end of May to search for his friends firsthand and lend whatever assistance he can.

"I will buy food, like rice, water. What I can buy, I will buy and I will provide them," said Ghimire. "I want to do something for the people who are victims over there you know. I want to do really good things for them."

Ghimire's friend Jen Ryan set up a Go Fund Me page, seeking donations that will be used to purchase supplies once Ghimire is able to return to Nepal. To donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/tg3bb4.
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