Portsmouth’s Nepalese community shocked by new earthquake

TERRIFIED People in Katmandu in Nepal flee yesterday's earthquake
TERRIFIED People in Katmandu in Nepal flee yesterday's earthquake
M275. Picture: Cesar Moreno Huerta

Traffic clearing coming out of Portsmouth after two-vehicle crash on M275

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PORTSMOUTH’s Nepalese community has come together to express its shock at yesterday’s earthquake, which has claimed dozens of lives.

The vice-president of the University of Portsmouth Nepalese Society Astha Limbu said it was terrifying to see.

She has expressed her fear of what could happen next to her family.

Astha said: ‘I have spoken to my friends and family who are in Nepal and they are safe but scared of what could happen.’

The latest devastation comes only three weeks after another deadly earthquake hit the country, killing more than 8,000 people.

The society held a candlelight vigil in memory of those killed by the quake and loved ones affected.

‘After what happened two weeks ago we started fundraising and we have raised over £900 for medicines and supplies,’ said Astha.

The society has sent these donations to Nepal in the hope that they help those whose lives have been ruined.

Astha said: ‘We will have a meeting this week about how we can raise more money for the survivors of the quakes.’

Speaking on Sky News the former defence attache of Nepal Colonel Andrew Mills, from Gosport, said he believed the community would be better prepared.

‘Fortunately, having been through the first earthquake 17 days ago the lines of communication will be that much better and people will know where the risks are. This quake is slightly further east, which will help as areas previous wrecked won’t be quite so bad.’

He added that people are paralysed by fear in the hills and are not taking the steps yet to rebuild their lives.

Staff at Nepalese restaurant Everest Spice in Buckland have spoken of their concern.

Restaurant manager Diness Dradhan said: ‘I’ve talked to my family in Nepal and they are safe but everyone is worried.

‘We have been collecting donations from customers to raise money for medicine to send.’

Dr Carmen Solana from the University of Portsmouth’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said: ‘Large earthquakes are often followed by others, sometimes as large as the initial one. This is because the movement produced by the first adds extra stress on other faults and destabilise them – it’s a chain reaction.’

In the mission to help the country recover 10 people from Hampshire Fire and Rescue flew out to Nepal to help.

The group returned to the UK after spending two weeks in the country.

Lee Giffard, who deployed as part of Hampshire’s urban search and rescue team said: ‘When we arrived it was just a scene of devastation.

‘There were lots of people who were injured and so many who had lost their homes.’

A spokesperson from Hampshire Fire and Rescue has said that there are no plans for the firefighters to return to the country yet.

Strong tremors were felt in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, which was badly damaged in last month’s earthquake.

Yesterday’s quake hit in an isolated area near the Chinese border between the capital, Kathmandu, and Mount Everest. It has been confirmed that more than 40 people have been killed in the disaster with a further 10,000 injured.

The US Geological Survey said the second quake hit with a magnitude of 7.3. The earthquake on April 25, centred in western Nepal, had a magnitude of 7.8.