GUWAHATI, April 27 � The earthquake in Nepal struck like a massive wave making it almost impossible for the people to remain on their feet, said Ankur Choudhury, who survived the fury of nature and returned home safely today.
Recounting the horror before The Assam Tribune today, Choudhury said that they had gone to Nepal as a 10-member group on a 10-day trip, but following the tragic incident, they had to cut short their visit and return home. Fortunately for them, all the members of the group are safe.
Choudhury revealed that they had reached Kathmandu on the evening of April 24 and went to the famous Pashupati temple to offer prayers on the morning of April 25. �We were offering puja in the temple when the earthquake struck. It struck like a massive wave, making it difficult for the people to stay on their feet and a number of persons fell down on the ground. The first earthquake was followed by a series of aftershocks and we rushed out of the temple, not knowing what to do under the circumstances,� he said.
Choudhury recounted that they stayed outside the temple for some time and then stood on a big road for quite some time as there were a series of aftershocks throughout day. He said that around 4.30 pm, they decided not to hang around in the place any longer and returned to their hotel. Though a number of hotels in Kathmandu collapsed in the earthquake, the hotel in which Choudhury�s group was staying, was not affected badly. �We collected our luggage and rushed to the airport immediately. Fortunately for us, we had booked a vehicle from a travel agency to take us to Pashupati temple and it was still with us. The vehicle took us to the hotel and then to the airport,� he said.
After the group reached the airport around 5.30 pm, there was uncertainty for some time and around 7.30 pm, they came to know that an aircraft sent by the Government of India would be reaching soon and the craft would evacuate the Indian tourists. They got an opportunity to return to India in the first evacuation trip, which took off from Kathmandu at 10.30 pm and reached New Delhi at midnight. After checking into the Assam Bhawan, the team returned to Guwahati this morning.
Choudhury said that they saw a number of buildings tilting to a side during the quake, while cracks appeared on the roads. There was no electricity and telephone lines were snapped. In fact, there was virtually no connectivity and there was no way the tourists could contact their families back home. There was total chaos and confusion all over.
However, Choudhury lauded the efforts of the Government of India to bring back the Indian tourists from Nepal without any delay.