Friday 21 October 2016

Dublin charity worker reveals scale of damage caused by Nepal quake


Daniel Gray
Daniel Gray

A DUBLIN charity worker has spoken of the terrifying scale of the destruction caused by an earthquake in Nepal.

Daniel Gray is just home from quake-ravaged Nepal, where he was working with Concern Worldwide.

"I flew into the capital Kathmandu. While there was terrible destruction in the city, there was even greater devastation in the countryside."

The Ringsend man admitted that nothing could prepare him for the sheer scale of the destruction and human misery.

"There are lots of people sleeping in tents on the side of the street.

"They were simply afraid to sleep indoors."

While there were tales of suffering everywhere, Daniel also spoke of how one teenager heroically rescued some of his siblings.

"In a tiny village called Netrakali I met a grandfather who was living with his family in a barn beside their animals.

"They were not at home when the first quake struck. They came back later and were in the house when it was hit by the aftershock.

"His 13-year-old grandson rescued three of his siblings, including a one-month-old baby," Daniel said.


The Ringsend native joined Concern last January as a web editor and this was his first time to see close-hand the work that the agency does in emergency situations.

"It was a first for me. In fact, it was my first time in Asia. I was really impressed with the incredible work that Concern is doing in Nepal," said the 24-year-old.

"We are in very remote areas and it is fascinating to see the Concern teams working in such difficult conditions and using their experience from disasters such as the Haiti earthquake.

"Concern has provided emergency supplies, such as tarpaulins and tents, to approximately 70,000 people.

"We now aim to supply more solid structures in the form of corrugated huts and to provide cash directly to local workers as part of a reconstruction programme.

"A number of temples in the capital's Durbar Square, which is a tourist attraction, were damaged by the quake."

Concern is working in the districts of Dolakha, Sindhuli and Sindhupalchok. In Dolakha, 92pc of structures were damaged or destroyed.

"It took hours to get anywhere and it was almost impossible to get to remote villages. After the two quakes there were a number of landslides and the small roads that were there are just impassable.

"Concern is also distributing solar lights. The electricity supply in Nepal is extremely patchy.

"This really simple technology means people can now work at night and women feel a lot safer."

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