People ran out, jumped from balconies: Nepal earthquake witness

A shallow earthquake measuring 7.9 magnitude struck west of the ancient Nepali capital of Kathmandu on Saturday causing buildings to collapse, injuring many and leaving a pall of dust over the city, witnesses said.

world Updated: Apr 26, 2015 00:22 IST
Abhishek Saha
Abhishek Saha
Hindustan Times
Nepal earthquake,earthquake toll,live earthquake

Development worker Achyut Luitel was watching television with his family on Saturday morning in Kathmandu when his house suddenly began shaking violently and people in his neighbourhood ran out of their houses.

“We felt a big tremor. But we decided to remain calm,” said Luitel.

The shaking was so intense that a wooden cupboard in the house fell on Luitel’s wife. Luitel’s cousin, who lived in Kathmandu, died in the earthquake

Luitel and his family ran out their house and fear to go back into their home because of the many aftershocks they felt.

Animal rights activist Kamal Subedi, a resident of Nepal’s Chitwan town about 100km from Kathmandu, has a similar story. He was working on his laptop, when the tremors started.

"People started jumping from balconies and running out of buildings. I heard that an elderly person succumbed to his injuries when he jumped from the balcony of a three-storey building somewhere near my colony," Subedi told Hindustan Times.

"The situation was scary and people panicked," he said. Like Subedi, journalist Abhaya Raj Joshi too was shaken up by the massive 7.9-magnitude quake that had its epicentre near Lamjung, about 185 km from Kathmandu.

"The aftershocks were quite strong, it's shaking even as I'm talking," he said. "The phone lines are completely down, but surprisingly the internet is still working," Kathmandu-based Joshi said over an online messaging service.

Joshi, who lives on the outskirts of the Nepalese capital, described the situation in the city as “quite bad”.

"Kathmandu’s iconic Dharahara Tower has been reduced to rubble and many people are believed to be buried in the rubble," he said.

A tweet from another Kathmandu-based journalist regarding the collapse of Dharahara Tower said:

Joshi further said buildings in his neighbourhood suffered severe damage and people were afraid to venture far from their homes.

"Our compound wall has collapsed and the house has developed cracks," he said.

Another journalist described the damage to housing colonies in Kathmandu in a tweet:

Like Joshi, others in Kathmandu said the collapse of buildings and the Dharahara Tower had resulted in panic among the people.

“All old houses and buildings collapsed," said Subodh Chandra Subedi, a Kathmandu-based professional, said after the initial tremors.

First Published: Apr 25, 2015 14:30 IST