“Stones were falling from the mountains. We thought that was going to be the end of our lives...“

02-09-2015

My name is Durga Pokharel. I live in one of the villages in the Ramechhap district in Nepal. My husband and I have 4 daughters and 2 sons. We come from an economically poor class. My husband is disabled. He was born with a dysfunctional hand and now works on a daily salary basis in an office. Besides that, we have a very small piece of land where we do buffalo farming, which brings in some extra income. It isn’t much, but we manage to satisfy our basic needs. As a family, we were a happy one.

But on April 25th a great disaster stormed into our life. It was Saturday, we were all at home. By God's grace we were outside, all except for one of my daughters. She was having her lunch inside. I was feeding the buffalos, and my husband was in the garden. Suddenly we heard a strange sound. Everyone started shaking. Soon after the sound I saw mountains shaking, people crying ‘Earthquake, Earthquake’. It was only then that I realized that what we were experiencing was an earthquake. I could not stand properly. I remembered that my daughter was inside the house. I cried out her name, I screamed: run out of the house, run out now. Then I saw our house starting to collapse. I tried rushing inside to save my daughter, but my husband stopped me. The stones from which the walls were build were falling out. With the fear I thought about my daughter…and started praying to God and gathering the courage to go inside. When the earthquake stopped, I found my daughter laying on the floor. Scared about what was going on. she had fainted. It was a God’s blessing that she was safe. I took her out and sprayed water on her face. She woke up. We only had a minute to rejoice for her survival before the ground started shaking again. Everyone around us was crying while running towards the fields. Stones were falling from the mountains. We thought that was going to be the end of our lives... 

People were saying that they had never seen such an earthquake in their lives. Then it started again. Most of my house collapsed. While my family survived the disaster, all the food that we stored inside was gone. We slept outside for the whole night. We thought it was all over, but the next day the earthquake happened again… From that day on, we live outside.  In 15 days, on May 12, another earthquake struck, with even more power. The extent of our fear is difficult to describe. 

We have been living outside from April 25, and while the earthquakes have stopped, we have no money to build another house. The government has given us Rs. 15000 ( € 125) to buy steel plates for the roof, but this isn’t enough. We have lost much more in the earthquake. The aftershocks continue to this day. We don't know what will happen tomorrow. Our situation is not unique: most of the villagers have it similar. We have all lost our houses and other things. We live under constant pressure. All we can ask is the support of the government and people out there who are not indifferent.

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