UPDATED: Pilot saw entire villages washed clean

Nepal Earthquake 2015: Live facts as we learn from the locals!
7.9 magnitude on Richter Scale 


Updated 27 April 0005 AEST Amid the devastation and deaths caused by the earthquake, which has now claimed over 2200 lives per Nepal’s home ministry, few heart-warming stories are trickling in.

According to onlinekhabar.com, Kathmandu resident Dharma Subedi was was buying a ‘paan’ (betel leaf and areca nut chewed by hundreds of millions daily) when he felt the tremor. He was near the historic Dharahara Tower at that moment. He looked up at the tower and found out that it was in effect swinging from side to side. Then he saw it fall, fall towards him and the shop-keeper he was buying the paan from. The next thing he remembers is being buried under the ruins of the tower.

Dharma Subedi: The Survivor. (Photo: onlinekhabar.com)
Dharma Subedi: The Survivor. (Photo: onlinekhabar.com)

His phone rang as he remained trapped under the 1832 tower (please see below photo and caption about the tower), “I was buried under the Dharahara. My wife called me right at that moment. I told her I was alright. I did not deem it suitable to tell her about my actual condition. I was not sure whether I would live or die. I did not say anything about my condition for fear of my family being worried sick. But I did call brother Tulsi in Biratnagar (Nepal’s second largest city). I told him about my situation. But, I requested him not to tell anyone else right away. I was still buried under at that time. When the earthquake started for the second time, I thought I would not survive this time but I had not completely given up yet.”

“I started to shout. I could hear people talking outside. But I was not sure if they could hear my voice. In the mean time, the wall we were leaning against was coming down. I was pushing it back with my back. By that time, people were approaching closer and closer. I was calling out loudly. I shook the wall a bit. Then they realised there was a man inside and they started breaking down the walls.”

“I was rescued nearly 45 minutes later. I felt like I came back from the dead. I felt as if I was reborn. Then I thought not only me but I should try to save others as well.”

Mr. Subedi then actively participated in the rescue of the shopkeeper he was buying the paan from. He lived. They found another youth next to him. He lived too. All three ultimately survived.

This afternoon saw another incredible rescue of a 16 year old boy trapped under the ruins of a guest house in Kathmandu – 24 hours after the disaster. Members of Nepal’s Armed Police Force took 10 long hours to rescue the man who was buried deep under the rubble. He is currently undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

Updated 26 April1830 AEST Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, has indicated there are currently 549 registered Australians in Nepal, 200 of whom are confirmed to be safe per the records of the Embassy of Australia in Kathmandu.

“An Australian Crisis Response Team will travel to Nepal as soon as possible to assist in establishing the welfare of Australians unaccounted for after the earthquake on 25 April. Two humanitarian experts will also be deployed,” Ms Bishop said in a press statement issued today.

She said the Australian Government will provide an immediate package of life-saving humanitarian support to Nepal.

Australian Embassy in Kathmandu will spend a total of $5 million in relief operations: $2.5 million will be to assist Australian non-government organisations, $2 million to support United Nations partners and
$0.5 million to support the Australian Red Cross.

People with concerns for the safety of their family and friends should try to contact them directly, she said.

If unable to do so, they should call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on (02) 6261-3305 or, within Australia, on 1300 555 135 (local call cost).

Updated 26 April1540 AEST An unbelievable 22 hours after the 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Kathmandu valley, a rescue team made up of Indian and Nepali security forces have found a female victim alive. Rescuers apparently heard her call for help as she remained trapped under a pillar of a 3-storey building in Kathmandu’s Gongabu suburb, updates Uttam Niroula from Kathmandu.

Local media quoted home ministry spokesperson Laxmi Prasad Dhakal as confirming 1,883 deaths while over 47,000 others have been left seriously injured. He expected the fatalities to rise as the earthquake hit 29 districts from where information has been emerging in trickle.

Nepal earthquake
People have become refugees in their own city. Tens of thousands of Kathmanduites spent Saturday night in rudimentary tents like this. Photo: Krandan Chapagain

Over 700 have died in Kathmandu city where nearly 2,500 injured people are being treated at government and private hospitals. Single biggest loss of life at one place occurred when a 5-storey building collapsed at a Kathmandu suburb called Jorpati. The building had 105 rooms, Mr Niroula said.

A local told southasia.com.au tens of thousands of people slept overnight on both sides of Ring Road, a circular road that goes around the Kathmandu city. Many took to Tundikhel, the biggest open ground in Kathmandu which is generally used by the army.

At least 600 out of around 1,000 homes were affected in Sankhu, 16 kilometres east of Kathmandu. Forty people are confirmed dead in that small town alone, police told local media.

Updated 0930 AEST The actual scale of destruction dealt by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal is slowly emerging as information from more and more far-flung villages becomes available.

The pilot of a private helicopter operator told Annapurna Post, a local media outlet in Kathmandu, that the entire village of Langtang in Rasuwa district has been completely destroyed with trees in Langtang National Park flat on the ground.

Nepal earthquake
“Langtang is one of the nearest trekking destinations from Kathmandu and is an unparalleled combination of natural beauty and cultural riches.”

Langtang is one of the most popular trekking routes in Nepal which lies 130 kilometres north of Kathmandu valley bordering Tibet.

Captain Bibek Khadka of Simrik Air said as he flew to Langtang for a rescue operation where he witnessed villages by the mighty Trishuli River completely destroyed and unrecognisable.

“While on our way to Syafrubeshi from Ghoda Tabela in Rasuwa, we saw some villages completely washed away by landslides while some others looked like deserts due to landslides,” the helicopter pilot told Annapurna Post.

He apparently saw people waving frantically for help at Nanga Danda, “But there was no way we could rescue them. We could not reach the area because of bad weather.”

The Trishuli River has been obstructed by massive landslides at many points while some roads lay destroyed, he further added.

Captain Bibek Khadka (Source: Facebook)

Captain Khada said he along with his senior Captain Siddhartha embarked on the mission after they realised that the airport facilities had been badly affected. They initially flew around Kathmandu City where they witnessed many historic buildings as well as residential areas being destroyed by the earthquake, including the historic Dharahara Tower.

Captain Khada said he and his co-pilot helped navigate planes that were just arriving at Kathmandu’s airport as the the tremors were being felt. “We helped planes land as there was nothing at the tower of Tribhuvan International Airport. We could ensure safe-landing by observing the situation at the airport and by relaying the information to the pilots of the planes,” he said.

The erstwhile Dharahara Tower in the heart of Kathmandu City, built in 1832, brought down to dust by the 7.9 m earthquake.

 

2 thoughts on “UPDATED: Pilot saw entire villages washed clean

  1. capt.siddhartha is the instructor pilot.and senior most in simrik air. the statement stating him as copilot needs to be corrected. .!!

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