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Virginia Nepalese Community reacts to quake

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Nepal may be halfway around the world, but the devastating earthquake is being felt in Virginia from those with loved ones there.

"It has been real unnerving not being able to hear from her," Jackie Bowles, whose mother was on a mission trip to Nepal with Chester Christian Church, said.

Bowles said she finally was able to get in touch with her mom on Monday via Facebook chat. Bowles says the mission group landed a mere 30 minutes before the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck -- close to 4,000 are feared dead and more than 7,100 injured.

"Better to know she is okay," Bowles said.

At VCU, students are also leaning on each other for support. For Nepalese students, finals week has been filled with worry for loved ones or friends back home.

"The Nepalese Association here has been great at helping each other out," Sukrita Silwal said.

Silwal tells CBS 6 that Facebook has been a great source of information -- the social media giant enabled a feature that allows those in Nepal to alert the world that they are okay.

On Sunday, more than 100 students gathered for a vigil on VCU's campus.

"We are going to collect donations and we are going to give them to Red Cross Nepal," Silwal said.

The Greater Richmond Virginia Nepalese Community is also collecting goods -- those interested in helping are asked to call Shiva Subedi at 804-339-6143.

"It's very devastating and I think people are looking for help," Subedi said.