A Doncaster woman visiting Nepal on a university placement has spoken of the terrifying moment when last week’s devastating earthquake hit.
Lydia Denton, 21, was visiting friends at their home on the sixth floor of an apartment block in Kathmandu when the 7.8-magnitude quake hit on Saturday, killing more than 4,300 and injuring 8,000.
“We were drinking tea when it happened, and all of a sudden everything began to shake and the cups went flying off the table,” said Lydia, of Long Square, Auckley.
“It was really shocking. We started making our way downstairs because we knew we had to get out of the building.
“It was scary, but to be honest I wasn’t really thinking. When something like that happens, you just kind of go on to autopilot.
“We were all okay, thankfully, but you can’t help but think what if we were in another building.
“The first time I cried was when we saw a television, and realised just how bad it was.”
Lydia told The Star: “It’s just awful. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world already. And now people who had almost nothing now have nothing at all.”
“People are living in the streets. People who were perhaps living under a metal sheet and plastic covering now don’t even have that.
“It’s horrible for us, but we can jump on a plane an fly out of that. They’re left to rebuild without anything.”
Lydia, a product design student at Nottingham Trent University, made the trip to Nepal with Robbie and Ele Walker Carriete, owners of Nottingham-based giftware company Elefair, as part of her third year placement.
Many of the items the business sells are made in Nepal and the trio were there on a business trip.
Following the earthquake, Lydia, Robbie and Ele, who is six months pregnant, were unable to get back to their hotel in Katmandu for more than 24 hours.
Shortly after they were able to return, hotel management began asking everyone to leave because all of the staff ‘wanted to get back to the their families’.
Due to Ele’s pregnancy, the group were the only people given permission to stay and were asked to lock up after they left.
They have since been transferred to a British Gurkha camp by workers at the British Embassy, where Lydia says they feel ‘safe’.
“Food and drink is being rationed, but considering how much worse it could be, we really don’t mind,” the former Danum Academy pupil said.
“We’ve been told not to leave, because people are pick-pocketing because they’re desperate, but we have because we wanted to see if we could help.”
The party of three are due to fly out of Nepal on Thursday and will return to the UK on Friday.
Lydia is urging people to donate money to the relief fundraising page so people can ‘begin to rebuild their lives’.
n Anyone wishing to donate money can do so by visiting the website of the Disasters Emergency Committee at www.dec.org.uk/Nepal or calling them on 0207 387 0200.