Global Ministries Missionaries Mark and Deirdre Zimmerman Safe After Earthquake
Global Ministries Missionary Mark Zimmerman serving in Kathmandu, Nepal, shares an update following the 7.9-magnitude earthquake which struck the region, Saturday, April 25.
Mark serves as a medical doctor in Kathmandu, Nepal, as director of the Nick Simons Institute (NSI) and his wife Deirdre Zimmerman serves as an advisor to the Nutrition Promotion and Consultancy Services, through the Nutrition Project for Urban Communities, which works to enrich the lives of Nepalis with better nutrition through education and training.
April 26, 2015
This is a quick note to keep you informed in the aftermath of yesterday’s Nepal earthquake. My family and I are well and are thankful for your thoughts and prayers.
We were in church when the earthquake hit on Saturday (April 25) at 12 noon, Nepal time. Its length and force was far beyond anything anyone of us had experienced before and we fully expected the buildings to come down.
Thankfully, this did not happen. In fact, on the street, the main overt damage was two flimsy compound walls and old temples. Our first impression was of minimal damage. Our apartment only experienced some things falling from the shelves; 95 percent was left standing and intact.
However, as news filtered in from all sources, it became apparent that many were not so fortunate. The iconic Bhimsen Tower (Dharahara) was leveled to a single, one story shard with 80 lives lost in that incident alone. Reports continued to put the numbers into the hundreds, and now have crossed 2,000 dead. Patan Hospital remained standing (as did most modern structures) and saw 30 people dead, most of the rest were ‘walking wounded.’
The more serious concern is in the rural areas, where communication and relief support are sparse. No one knows the extent of the loss of life and the hardship out there. We, in NSI (Nick Simons Institute, an organization working in Nepal with a mission to train and support rural health care workers), are in touch with the government about how we can help respond. I think this will be in Sindhupalchowk District, which we’ll visit tomorrow. The other badly hit area is Gorkha, the epicenter of the quake.
In the 32 hours since the quake, we have experienced aftershocks significant enough to shake us up. I’d guess that 80 percent of folks in the valley continue to camp out on their front lawns, rather than go inside their houses. The power has been completely cut, which has begun to affect water supply, because most people here have to pump it. Only 10 percent of shops are open. With roads all intact, there is every reason to hope that food will not become short.
To reiterate, my family and the folks in NSI are well. We thank God. All of us in Nepal thank you for your thoughts and prayers over the coming days and weeks.
Nick Simons Institute
Gifts to support UMCOR’s response to the earthquake in Nepal and other disasters can be made online.