By Bill Parry
Several hundred people gathered at Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights Sunday in a show of solidarity with the people of Nepal.
The group, #Pray for Nepal, which organized the rally, collected over $23,000 in donations for the victims of Saturday’s catastrophic earthquake.
The vigil continued through the night and into Monday morning, as the death climbed past 4,200 with over 7,500 injured. The 7.8 magnitude quake is believed to have effected more than 8 million people, according to Nepal’s National Emergency Operation Center. An official said only houses with concrete support were left standing.
The United Nations authorized $15 million in emergency funds for relief efforts.
“It is essential that we move quickly and effectively,” U.N. Resident Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick told the Washington Post. “We need to ensure that no further lives are lost and the needs of the most vulnerable prioritized.”
McGoldrick is a former Sunnyside resident who was posted to Kathmandu two years ago, his wife Claudia and their two daughters joined him in the ancient city last year.
“We are all safe both family and colleagues,” McGoldrick was able to post on Facebook on Sunday. Claudia McGoldrick, a journalist and longtime member of the Red Cross, wrote, “All in shock. Such a massive tragedy. Praying the recovery starts now, it will take many years.”
The U.S. authorized $10 million, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr