EXTREME HORROR: An unidentified tourist (L) stands as members of a rescue team search for victims under the rubble of a tourist’s hotel in Thamel, a tourist hub in Kathmandu.RIGHT: CQU researchers Phul Subedi, Bed Khatiwada, Surya Bhattarai and Resham Gautam.
EXTREME HORROR: An unidentified tourist (L) stands as members of a rescue team search for victims under the rubble of a tourist’s hotel in Thamel, a tourist hub in Kathmandu.RIGHT: CQU researchers Phul Subedi, Bed Khatiwada, Surya Bhattarai and Resham Gautam.

Rocky’s Nepalese to hold candlelight vigil following quake

ROCKHAMPTON region's 50 Nepalese families face a tense wait to hear news of their families and friends at home.

CQU researcher Surya Bhattarai said everyone was staying close to news broadcasts, but with communications cut it was difficult to get information.

Mr Bhattarai and his colleagues at the Central Queensland Innovation and Research precinct are relieved their families survived the quake, but fear for a number of friends and colleagues who are still missing near the Tibetan border.

"The statistics are always growing and the number of deaths could reach over 10,000," Mr Bhattarai said.

"The earthquake affected one quarter of Nepal's landmass and half the population.

"They are concentrating on Kathmandu, so no one is able to give data about the rural areas."

Mr Bhattarai first moved to Rockhampton 14 years ago to start a PhD at CQUniversity.

He and his family first heard about the tragedy at home when family called.

"It's raining, but people are living in the streets because they are so afraid of the aftershocks," he said.

"They speak of extreme horror and of losing people before their eyes.

"There are so many rumours, especially about the big one still to come… they are afraid of the big one, and they don't even know if it's true or not, but they are living in extreme anxiety."

The CQ Nepalese Association is working with Nepalese communities around Australia to organise support on the ground, particularly in relation to the health and sanitation issues still to come.

At 5.30 this evening, Rockhampton's 50 Nepalese families will gather on the riverbank in a candlelight vigil, where everyone is welcome.

"The networks are linked, the media have done a wonderful job… the whole world is helping," Mr Bhattarai said.