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Gardena man's family survives Nepal earthquake




BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL - APRIL 26:  A man climbs on top of debris after buildings collapsed on April 26, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving thousands dead or trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors.  (Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images)
BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL - APRIL 26: A man climbs on top of debris after buildings collapsed on April 26, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving thousands dead or trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. (Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images)
Omar Havana/Getty Images

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The death toll now tops 4,000 in the massive earthquake which rocked Nepal on Saturday.

Madav Gurung is an Uber driver who lives in Gardena. His wife and family live in Kathmandu, and he says he was on the phone with his wife when the quake hit.

"After five minutes, the phone was dead. No connection. Nothing," he said. "I was so worried ... We didn't have a connection for another few hours."

Gurung says his family members are OK, and the fence to his home was destroyed.  

"But most of all of the heritage of Nepal is gone. Our historical places are gone," Gurung said.

For those in the U.S. with close ties to Nepal, like Gurung, the news has prompted calls to mobilize relief. California is sending 57 urban search and rescue experts to help find people buried under the rubble. 

Gurung is also a member of a group of Nepalese now living in southern California called the Los Angeles Gurung Society, and they too are organizing relief efforts. Visit the group's Facebook page for more information on how to help.