Six days after a giant earthquake devastated much of Nepal, local news reports have predicted another earthquake coming. “Guest houses and stores have all been closed,” reports Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz, co-director of Chabad of Nepal. “All remaining Israeli backpackers are hunkering down at the Chabad House-waiting, praying and hoping for good news.”
Despite the dire predictions, spirits remained high at the Chabad center, where people chatted, joked, took selfies-and prayed.
Sitting among the backpackers, aid workers and tourists was Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. The rabbi is in the country to encourage the local population and assess the situation in order to best direct Chabad’s ongoing relief campaign.
The news comes as Chabad’s search-and-rescue efforts continues. Yehuda Rose, a British-born aid worker, flown in after the disaster stuck was in Lukla today, searching for stranded Israeli backpackers in an area devastated by the quake.
Even as time passes, survivors have continued to trickle in. On Thursday, two people came after five days of wandering on the frozen lakes, coming on the heels of a large group that Rabbi Lifshitz had rescued with the help of Chabad-issued satellite phones to track them and a borrowed Nepali helicopter to get them out.
The new isolation came only a day after much positive activity at the Chabad center. While co-director Chani Lifshitz was serving up 2,000 meals to Nepalis outside the Chabad House , her husband, Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz, was out in a helicopter rescuing travelers, and their children were being hosted at the home of Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin.
To help with the earthquake relief effort, visit the special relief fund page: www.Chabad.org/Nepal.