SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A candlelight vigil was held Tuesday night at UC San Diego for the victims of the massive earthquake in Nepal, where the death toll has climbed above 4,300, with almost 8,000 injured.

The magnitude-7.8 quake struck near the capital Kathmandu at midday Saturday, and its effects were widespread -- killing victims in neighboring India, China, Bangladesh and Tibet and triggering an avalanche on Mount Everest that killed at least 18 climbers.

Eight million people have been affected by the temblor, according to the United Nations, and Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has warned that his nation's death toll could reach 10,000.

The vigil was organized by the Nepalese Student Association, and set to begin at 7 p.m. at the Geisel Library on the UCSD campus.

Stephen Kennedy, a 33-year-old Jamul native backpacking near Mount Everest, communicated with his sister via Facebook, CBS 8 News learned.

San Diego-based relief organizations worked to provide assistance to the region.

Scripps Health said a team of at least 16 nurses, physicians and a small support contingent will leave for Nepal Thursday or Friday for about three weeks, and will work for the International Medical Corps.

Members of the contingent have previously deployed to disaster areas following Hurricane Katrina on the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005 and a massive earthquake in Haiti five years later. They'll work in a mobile field hospital alongside colleagues from Harvard and Stanford.

"Responding to emergencies like the one in Nepal and others we've helped out with in the past not only provides needed aid to victims of those crises, it gives our team needed experience to help out in case of disasters here at home," said Chris Van Gorder, the president and CEO of Scripps Health.

Scripps Health said it might send a second team into the area.

International Relief Teams said it has ordered up a shipment of medicines, which will be flown from the Netherlands to Nepal, where it should arrive by the middle of the week.

The group said partners on the scene will keep IRT updated on what's needed in the Himalayan country.

IRT, best known for sending volunteers to rebuild homes following natural disasters, is accepting donations online at, or by mail at International Relief Teams, Attn: Nepal Earthquake, 4560 Alvarado Canyon Road, Suite 2G, San Diego 92120.

The Rescue Task Force is providing support to the work of volunteers in Asia who are on their way to the quake-stricken area.

Restore International has started a relief fund for victims of the earthquake. The organization runs an orphanage for girls in Kathmandu, and reported that its kids were safe.