Miracles of Survivors

Dr. Robert Kittel, May 1, 2015, Kathmandu, Nepal: More than five days after Nepal’s massive earthquake two survivors were pulled from the rubble of collapsed buildings yesterday.

Pemba Lama Tamang, a 15-year-old teenager from Nuwakot (46 miles west of Kathmandu), was virtually unharmed when rescue teams from Nepal’s Armed Police Force and the United States freed him from his 2.5 x 3.5 foot entombment. For the American team this was their first and likely last rescue.

Eight hours later, Krishna Devi Khadka, 24, from Bardiya (from far western Nepal) was pulled from the Janasewa Guest House that crumbled to the ground when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal last Saturday. She was rescued by the joint efforts of the Armed Police Force and an Israeli rescue team.

Tamang told mediapersons that he spent his time praying and hoping to be rescued. “I was lucky that two cans of ghee [refined butter fat] were lying nearby and I ate the ghee.” For water he said, “I found a piece of cloth soaked with rain water and squeezed a few drops to drink.”

The stories are seen as miracles, giving hope to Nepalese nationwide as many face an almost hopeless future.

As the total number of deaths nears 6,000 the government announced yesterday that it set up a national reconstruction fund and would begin by giving surviving family members $1,400 to help cover the costs of cremating (or burying) their loved ones.

Government officials also announced that they would allow climbers to continue their summit of Mt. Everest if they wanted, although most have already left the mountain. In an avalanche triggered by the April 25 earthquake 19 climbers and Sherpa guides were killed; more are still missing. Even before the exact number is known, this is now the deadliest disaster on the world’s tallest mountain.

epaselect epa04719891 People free a man from the rubble of a destroyed building after an earthquake hit Nepal, in Kathmandu, Nepal, 25 April 2015. A 7.9-magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal destroying buildings in Kathmandu and surrounding areas, with unconfirmed rumours of casualties. The epicentre was 80 kilometres north-west of Kathmandu, United States Geological Survey. Strong tremors were also felt in large areas of northern and eastern India and Bangladesh. EPA/NARENDRA SHRESTHA

 

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