Bishop describes 'a very, very frightening scene' in Nepal
"I myself had to literally run to save my life."
By John Pontifex
YORK—Nepal’s one Catholic bishop has given a graphic account
of the country’s catastrophic April 27 earthquake—describing how he was lucky
a message to international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop
Paul Simick of Kathmandu, said he “saw houses falling like a pack of cards,” and
that people “were running in all directions to save their lives.
was a very, very frightening scene.”
bishop added: “I myself had to literally run to save my life.”
continued: “Repeated aftershocks—just now there was one [and] I had to run away
from my office—have made people frightened so they have left their houses and
pitched tarpaulin tents on the streets and open fields.”
that latest estimates had put the number of deaths at 4,000, the bishop added
that local radio reports had predicted a rise in the death toll as more bodies
added: “I saw animals killed by falling cow sheds and stone walls. I saw the
dry landslides after the shake all over the hills where I was.”
bishop described the devastating impact of the earthquake on Nepal’s small
Catholic community numbering just 10,000 faithful. “Here in Kathmandu city, many Catholic
families have cracks in their houses or major damage.”
Simick stressed the problems of trying to assess the situation on the ground,
describing the crippling impact of communications breakdown, impassable roads,
no domestic flights and entire communities still cut off from any help.
bishop added: “I would also like to request your prayer support for the
victims’ families who have lost loved ones, those who are still missing loved
ones and those who are seriously injured.”
on the suffering of Catholic communities, he described how some faithful had
lost their lives in a mission station which takes three days by foot to reach
from the capital.
[Monday], one helicopter went to see the place and victims but because of bad
weather it could not land and saw nothing.
of our churches, schools, convents and other institutions have developed