18-year-old Camille Thomas was buried alive.

The Victorian teenager and her high school friend, Grace Graham, had been hiking together near the village of Langtang when a magnitude-7.9 quake (some sources report as much as 8.1) struck Nepal on Saturday.

At first, the pair laughed about it; neither realized the scope of what they had just felt, nor the terror that would ensue afterward. Within moments, an avalanche was approaching, as though the entire mountain were collapsing on the two of them.

“All you could see was snow coming, coming, coming,” Thomas told 3AW radio about her ordeal beneath the snow. Yet Thomas was no stranger to the kind of fear of nature and its strength in such circumstances: just over a decade ago, her uncle had been killed on a mountain in Nepal.

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Thomas dug her way out of the snow, and despite the rocks and other objects that collided with her as she tried to escape, she was reunited with Grace, and the two eventually made it back to the site of the village, Thomas suffering from hearing loss in one ear, along with head and back injuries.

The village, however, was nearly in ruins.

Thomas’s story is merely one among the thousands that recall the destruction following an earthquake that recently struck Nepal. Many more, including foreign travelers and those indigenous to the area, are suffering in the aftermath. News agencies around the world report that many parts of Nepal are described as having been “leveled”, with many prominent landmarks and cultural treasures being demolished along the way. The famous Dharahara tower was among such landmarks which collapsed, destroying the nearly 200-year-old structure, and killing 180 people as it fell.

The American Red Cross is launching a relief effort in response to the Nepal earthquake disaster, and encourage people to give to the cause. I’d like to ask that people consider making a donation, and to help in offsetting the effects of this natural disaster which, by all accounts, has destroyed the everyday way of life in many parts of the region.

According to ARC website:

“The global Red Cross network, led by the Nepal Red Cross, has mounted an international relief effort to provide emergency humanitarian assistance following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal. While details of the impact continue to come in, the Nepal Red Cross, which has extensive experience in responding to natural disasters, is providing first aid, search and rescue, blood to medical facilities in the capital and support to first responders. The American Red Cross is committing an initial $300,000 to the response operation and working closely with the Nepal Red Cross and the global Red Cross network to coordinate additional support. The American Red Cross is also providing remote mapping and information management support.”

Again, please consider helping others in their time of need. Donate to the relief effort today. Click the button below to visit the Red Cross Disaster Relief page, where you can learn more, and also make a donation to the cause:

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Image by Krish Dulal via Wikipedia, CC 4.0. 

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