03/15/2011, 00.00
NEPAL – JAPAN
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Nepali Catholics pray for tsunami victims

by Kalpit Parajuli
About 30 Nepali immigrants in Japan are missing. A Mass is held in Kathmandu cathedral with relatives of the missing and Japanese living in Nepal attending. The Nepali government sends Special Forces to Sendai as well as emergency supplies to help rescue teams.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Nepali Catholics are praying for the victims of last Friday’s tsunami, including the 30 Nepali migrants who went missing as a result of the disaster that hit Japan. A Mass was held on Sunday in the Cathedral of the Assumption in Kathmandu. Parents of the missing and Japanese Catholics working in Nepal were also present. In the meantime, the Nepali government has sent 15 agents drawn from its army and police Special Forces, plus 5,000 blankets and emergency supplies to help Japanese rescue efforts.

Bhusan Ghimire, a Catholic and the Tokyo correspondent for the Nepali Weekly, just came home. “I was at a grocery when I felt the two shocks,” he told AsiaNews. Everything started shaking and after a few minutes, “the roofs fell and buildings collapsed. I thought I would not live through this,” but “God saved me."

Speaking about missing Nepalis, he said that “it is hard to get news about their identity and conditions.” In fact, “it is impossible to communicate with the hardest hit areas, and local media say that four restaurants run by Nepalis in Miyagi Prefecture were swept away by the tsunami.”

Risita Lama, 65, has not been able to communicate with her son for days. He went missing with his wife in one of the prefectures struck by the quake. “I am praying for my dear ones, and all the people involved in the devastating quake,” she said. “Our prayers join those of Catholics around the world.”

Zunichiro Tabei, a Japanese working in Nepal, said that his relatives are still among the missing. “I asked God to watch over my relatives. I hope to see them again, soon. My Lord, heed my prayers and help all the Japanese, ease their suffering.”

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