Assam survivors recount quake horror
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, April 27: Dr Ashok Bharali of Rangiya was lighting candles at the Pashupatith Temple on the banks of the Baghmati flowing along the eastern outskirts of Kathmandu. The time was around 11.40 am on Saturday. Suddenly his world turned upside down as a massive quake hit the Himalayan tion.
“My wife and two children were with me at the temple. We were part of a 10-member team from Rangiya on a visit to Nepal. We had absolutely no inkling that such a catastrophe would befall us. All at once, we felt the tremor as we were lighting candles. As the shaking grew more violent, I fell down and rolled on the ground. I felt as if the earth would turn over,” Dr Bharali, who reached Assam today, recalled.
“There was a muted subterranean roar, increasing gradually…like the sound of onrushing wind or a huge upwelling wave. Terrified people were chanting the Lord’s me…I could hear the incantation of ‘Ram, Ram, Ram’… some were even praying ‘Allah, Allah, Allah’”, he said.
“We rushed out of the temple. With horrified eyes, we saw the devastation in the surroundings. Fortutely, there was not much damage to the Pashupatith temple. We remained at the temple courtyard till 5 pm. Thankfully, the driver of the vehicle we had hired for the trip was kind enough to take us back to Kathmandu,” he said.
From there, Dr Bharali and his team went straight to the airport, as almost all the hotels had closed down. “We met some Indian Air Force personnel there who arranged our return to Delhi. However, as there was heavy rush, we were accommodated with the second batch of survivors. We did not have food for two days,” Dr Bharali, who still shudders at the thought of the disaster, added.
Zohar Hussain too witnessed ture’s fury from the fifth floor of the Kathmandu hotel he had put up in.
“I was at the top floor of the five-storey hotel. As the tremor shook the region, I looked out of a window. Within moments, two adjacent buildings were razed to the ground, setting off clouds of dust and piles of debris. I never thought I would be alive. But luckily, there was not much damage to my hotel,” Hussain, who also returned to Assam today said.
For PK Bora, it was return from the jaws of death.
“There I saw a valley of death. It is a miracle that I escaped unscathed,” an exchausted Bora told reporters upon landing at the LGBI airport in Guwahati.