Comment: Nepal Earthquake a human catastrophe

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the testimony of 
Kalina Shrestha is a stark illustration of the extent of the devastation that Saturday’s earthquake has wreaked on her home country.

Her mother-in-law almost too traumatised to speak, her sister living in a field because she is too afraid to enter her home or any other building for fear it will collapse.

With the Nepalese prime minister warning that the death toll could yet exceed 10,000, this is a catastrophe on a horrifying scale.

Events as terrible as this tend to touch something deep inside us that demands a response no matter how distant the people and place affected might seem.

Yet the ties that bind us in 
Edinburgh with those suffering in Nepal are there to see at every turn.

Kathmandu is an ancient city and a proud capital. In the most historic parts of the city centre, there are spectacular buildings which date back to medieval times, and act as a magnet to the hundreds of thousands of tourists who head there every year.

It is impossible to read about the destruction of historic buildings in the heart of Kathmandu, or the Unesco World Heritage Site inspectors flying out to examine the damage, without imagining the toll such a disaster would have taken here in Edinburgh.

But this is above all else a human catastrophe. The need for help is clear, from the dying and the dispossessed in Nepal to the families in Edinburgh, and around the world, praying for positive news.

Scots aid workers employed are already out there doing what they can, but they need your help to do all that’s needed.

Today they are handing out clothes, blankets and water, but Edinburgh-based Mercy Corps knows already that they will be there for years to help rebuild the lives that have been shattered.

If you can donate, you can find details of how to on page nine.