UK

Four Nepalis from Swindon 'died in earthquake'

A woman walks past debris in Kathmandu Image copyright Getty Images

Four people from the UK's Nepali community died in last weekend's earthquake in the country, the brother of one of them has told the BBC.

Former Gurkha Kashi Rai from Swindon said at least three of the four victims were Nepali citizens from the town who had indefinite leave to live in the UK.

His brother and his sister-in-law were among those who had died, he said.

More than 7,000 people died in the 7.8-magnitude quake on 25 April. Officials have ruled out finding more survivors.

It comes as the UK government announced a new £5.3m contribution to the United Nations emergency appeal, to provide additional help to people hit by the disaster.

Church prayers

Prayers were said for for the four victims at St John's Church, in Swindon, and a candle was lit in remembrance.

Mr Rai said his brother, Ratna - who was also a former Gurkha - and his wife, Mina, had gone to Nepal two weeks ago to visit relatives.

They were killed when a church in Kathmandu, the country's capital, collapsed after the earthquake struck, he said.

Also killed was Elia Ghale - another former Gurkha - who was also originally from Nepal. He had left Swindon a year ago to set up a church in Nepal, Mr Rai said.

Mr Ghale's son, who had gone back to Nepal with his father, also died, he added.

The duo were also killed when a different church collapsed following the earthquake.

Nepal earthquake relief

$415 million

needed for humanitarian relief

  • 3 million people in need of food aid

  • 130,000 houses destroyed

  • 24,000 people living in makeshift camps

  • 20 teams working to reunite lost children with their families

AFP

Eight Britons stranded in a monastery in Nepal were rescued on Saturday - a week after the devastating earthquake.

They were airlifted from a religious retreat in a remote mountainside area of the country by a UK team of experts using a chartered helicopter.

An RAF C-17 aircraft, which had taken aid to Nepal, separately flew another seven Britons out of the country.

A British mountaineer caught up in the earthquake in Nepal has also returned to the UK.

Gareth Doulas, 37, from Bridgnorth in Shropshire, had been preparing to climb Mt Everest when the earthquake struck a week ago. He flew into Heathrow on Saturday.

A UK Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) public appeal for donations has so far raised more than £33m - including £5m from the government to match the first public donations.

The UK government has now committed £22.8m in humanitarian aid - including the £5m appeal donation - making it the largest international donor so far.

The Foreign Office has confirmed that British dual national Hemchandra Rai, 42, was killed in the disaster. The married father of three lived in Hong Kong.

Reports of another British victim killed at Mount Everest base camp are still being investigated.

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