2 May 2015

Hundreds gather for candlelit Nepal vigil

6:15 am on 2 May 2015

Hundreds gathered at a candlelit vigil in Christchurch's Victoria Square on Friday night to show support for those affected by the earthquakes in Nepal.

So far, the earthquake's death toll is approaching 6000 people; authorities say it could be as high as 10,000.

Hundreds gathered for the vigil.

Hundreds gathered for the vigil in Christchurch's Victoria Square. Photo: RNZ / Patrick Phelps

Members of Christchurch's Nepalese community and others living in the city gathered and held candles at the sombre vigil, while hearing speeches from leaders including Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel and New Zealand Nepalese Friendship Society president Rajesh Dhakal.

"Nepal being a small country, and not very well-resourced, the level of calamity, the level of suffering... We don't have the ability or the resources to get through this phase. We definitely need your support," said Mr Dhakal as he fought back tears.

Ms Dalziel said Christchurch knew the pain Nepal was going through.

"The city felt the same devastation and horror in the aftermath of the February 2011 earthquake, and at that time we were sustained by help and support from around the world, and that is what Nepal needs," she said.

The event was attended by hundreds of people, among them Nepalese, Christchurch City Councillors, and members of the community.