DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — As bombs at churches and hotels killed and injured hundreds of people in Sri Lanka, the news spread through social media.
Duke University researcher Shashika Bandara grew up in Sri Lanka and recently worked in the capital city Colombo, where some of the explosions happened.
“I was concerned so I started calling home and connecting with my friends and family,” he said.
His friends and family were not hurt, but he says the whole country is shocked and grieving — and halfway across the world so is he.
“Whether I know personally anyone or not, it’s a horrible, horrible feeling,” he said, adding that it’s hard being so far from home at such a time.
“You kind of feel like you are too far away to do anything, not that I could do something specifically, but also you kind of want to be there in solidarity with people,” Bandara explained.
For now, he takes comfort in hearing that people are trying to help the victims.
“The blood banks are filled with people who are lined up to donate, so that kind of speaks to the unity of the country on one side in reflection of what has happened,” he said.