A WOMAN from York has told of how she was caught up in Nepal's devastating earthquake.

Emily Lewin, 29, was in Kathmandu when Saturday's 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked the country and she witnessed the destruction of the city first hand.

She said there are thousands of families huddled in streets and parks or taking shelter near their collapsed houses, many with relatives still trapped under the rubble.

Ms Lewin said: "The best way people can help from overseas, is by donating money. It is incomprehensible how much work that needs to be done now. No-one will receive any compensation.

"I'm sure many will go back to their damaged houses, and in time there will be more casualties.

"There are still a huge number of villages that have not received any aid. They have no water, clothing, food, shelter. Their relatives are still trapped under rubble. All they can do is wait.

"Yesterday we worked with an incredible Nepali, who off his own back, and with his own back, has spent the last four days helping and rescuing anyone he can. He has no tools or machinery. Just a pick axe. He rescued a ten-year-old boy a few days ago."

Having spent the last five months travelling and volunteering in India, Ms Lewin was taking a course in Kathmandu at the time of the earthquake. She had been in the city's famous Monkey Temple, which was damaged, as it hit.

Writing yesterday, she said power had been restored to the area she is in and a few shops have re-opened with one or two restaurants opening to serve fried rice using a generator.

The aftershocks appear to have finished she said, adding: "At times, the aftershocks were pretty much constant. We got so used to the feeling of the ground moving underneath us. Sometimes the subtle ones lasted so long that we weren't sure if it was psychological or actually happening. Most if the time it was actually happening. I'd test it with my bottle of water, see if it was moving.

"Up until now, everyone has been constantly prepared for more aftershocks, always knowing the state of each building around you, how likely they are to fall. We were always prepared to spend the night in the park if needs be."

Ms Lewin urged people to donate as much as they are able and to consider going for a holiday in Nepal in the future to put money back into the economy.

She said: "Nepal is a stunning country. I have had the pleasure to meet so many friendly, caring considerate, interesting, open and witty Nepali's. I wish I could stay longer."

A page has been set up in support of Emily's fundraising. Go to https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nepal-earthquake-disaster--2


York Press:

There are several ways to donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal.

  • Visit http://www.dec.org.uk/how-to-help/how-to-pay
  • Phone the automated appeal phone line on 0370 60 60 900
  • Send cheques or postal orders, payable to DEC Nepal Earthquake Appeal, to: PO Box 999, London, EC3A 3AA
  • Pay in a donation at any bank or building society except Nationwide or Britannia, or at any post office
  • Text the word Nepal to 70000, to donate £5