The earthquakes in April and May were devastating not only for the people of Nepal. Several of the country’s heritage sites were destroyed or damaged.
Work is now underway to assess the losses and salvage the ancient, sacred sites. Scientology Volunteer Ministers have helped to recover religious artifacts in Kathmandu.
Over 6,000 lives were lost in the earthquakes. The cultural loss for Nepal is enormous, too. NPR reports that at least 70 ancient, sacred sites were severely damaged or destroyed in Kathmandu Valley, which is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus and Buddhists, and home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Archaeologists and others are now working around the clock to recover what they can from the rubble, as several of the damaged Hindu and Buddhist temples are in danger of collapsing. There’s also an increased risk of looting.
Bheshraj Dahan, head of the Nepalese government’s department of archeology told the Guardian that his ministry has sent a team to assess the damage. For now the extent of cultural loss is unknown.
Hundreds of Scientology Volunteer Ministers have been in Nepal for months now providing disaster relief in cooperation with local authorities and other international aid organizations. Recently they also helped to save precious religious artifacts from a damaged temple in Kathmandu, the church announced in a press release.
Working together with Mexican and Columbian search-and-rescue and technical teams, the Volunteer Ministers recovered a priceless statue and a vase from the temple, before its walls came tumbling down. They also assisted in cleaning up the site for rebuilding.