Local Nepalese community hope North Devon will rally to help send aid to disaster zone

North Devon's Nepalese community are rallying around to help friends and family affected by the devastating Nepal earthquake.

The 7.9 quake on Saturday has already claimed more than 6,000 lives and countless survivors remain in desperate need of food and water.

At the Gurkha Restaurant in Barnstaple, staff are desperate to send help to their beleaguered families in Nepal, many of whom are having to live outside without basic necessities of food, water and clothing.

The earthquake destroyed buildings in Kathmandu and affected surrounding rural areas, including Mount Everest, where it triggered avalanches which claimed the lives of some 18 climbers.

This Sunday, the restaurant in Market Street will be donating half of its takings to help communities in Kathmandu and there is a collection box if anyone wishes to donate.

On Thursday, May 21 a quiz night is also being held from 7pm, with half the proceeds going to the appeal.

Owners Som and Kalpana Bhetwal said they had lost no direct family to the disaster, but the survivors in desperate need of help.

"The family are still in shock, they are just thinking about the next hour and what will happen," said Som.

"People have been living outside in places such as football grounds or on the road. There were many big after shocks, so the government told people not to go inside.

"At the same time the weather was really bad, wet, windy and cold, and children have been suffering without food and drink."

* Anyone who would like to sign up a team of four for the quiz night, make a donation or help can visit the restaurant or call 01271 377665.

Ilfracombe appeal

The owners of the Gurkha Bar & Oriental Buffet Restaurant in Ilfracombe have also been personally affected by the quake.

On Sunday the restaurant on Belgrave Promenade in Wilder Road will be open as usual but all profits from the takings will be sent to family in Nepal so that they can start to rebuild their lives.

If anyone would like to donate, there is also a collection box inside the restaurant.

The people of Ilfracombe have promised to rally around after Pauline McFarland posted an appeal on Facebook to highlight the charity dinner on Sunday, with the post liked 238 times already.

"Quite a few have said they want to help, especially when it's somebody local who has been affected," said Pauline.

She said if anyone out there had ideas on how they might help, to contact her via Facebook.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has launched a UK wide appeal to provide emergency aid to people in the region. If you would like to donate via this, click here www.dec.org.uk