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Nepal quake: What happens to those trying to help?


A second earthquake has struck Nepal, two weeks after an initial series of quakes killed 8,000 people.

At least 37 people have been killed and more than a thousand injured by the 7.3-magnitude quake, which the Nepalese government says has affected 31 of the country's 75 districts.

Two UK residents among those who witnessed the tremor and its aftermath told the BBC how it had affected the ongoing relief effort around them.

media captionVolunteers at an orphanage in Nepal witness the second major earthquake in the nation in the space of a month.

Puja Poddar, from Glasgow

I'm with my sister and father, and we are doing charity work, setting up orphanages and distributing relief aid.

I arrived a day before this second earthquake struck.

Everyone felt the quake. The aftershocks were just as bad. The children in the orphanage were screaming and crying. Many were screaming and shouting for their mothers who they had already lost in the first earthquake. It was heartbreaking.

No words can describe how it felt. The ground was shaking. With the onset of each aftershock, the birds went crazy and the dogs were barking loudly.

Now, all shops are closed and people are sitting outside. Everyone has lost confidence.

We carried on doing what we came here to do and tried keeping the children safe and happy, giving out toys after the earthquake.

image copyrightPuja Poddar
image captionPuja and her sister gave out toys to the children to help calm them after the quake

Richard Jones, from Worcestershire

My friend James Watson and I were on the way to the immigration office in Kathmandu to extend our visas, when the latest quake hit.

The taxi driver didn't have control of the steering, as if he was being forced down a slalom course.

Getting out it felt like we were on a swaying boat, much shallower and gentler compared with the major quake a few weeks ago.

I had been at the Annapurna base camp when the bigger earthquake happened, 3,500m (11,500ft) up in the mountains.

This one felt a lot less dramatic, and I didn't feel at any risk as we were in open space.

It lasted 40 to 45 seconds as opposed to previous aftershocks that lasted around five to 10 seconds.

There are modern buildings where we are with massive cracks in them - they look like they are ready to go.

image copyrightRichard James
image caption"The roads were jammed and the local drivers behaving erratically," Mr Jones says

When it stopped, we turned back to go to the place we are staying, but the roads were jammed and the local drivers behaving erratically.

We ended up walking back across the city.

Since the initial quake myself, James and other tourists have been providing shelters and food aid to villages that have not been supported by the larger non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or the government, building bamboo/tarp shelters in Ramkot, in the Kathmandu valley, and, recently, distributing food in the Sindhupalchok district.

We've been supported with very generous donations by our friends and family.

Yesterday, we took a truck with sufficient supplies to feed the small village, roughly 100 homes, of Khiping for 10 or more days.

James and I have been travelling, long-term, although we're both photographers so we work as we go.

Together with Gareth Pickering, from South Africa, and Laura Szanto, from Canada, we have started work on a photo project to carry on our fundraising effort after we have left Nepal.

image copyrightLaura Szanto
image captionThe team had been distributing food to people in Sindhupalchok
image copyrightJames Watson
image captionAnd cleared rubble in Ramkot

Written by Alison Daye and Richard Irvine-Brown

Related Topics

  • Nepal
  • Earthquakes

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