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Nepal in Need co-founders trapped in earthquake are finally safe

PUBLISHED: 08:52 14 May 2015

Catherine Blaiklock, left, partner Gyaljen Sherpa and Jackie Higham have raised money for a new health centre in Nepal
picture by Adrian Judd
for EDP story Tracey gray

Catherine Blaiklock, left, partner Gyaljen Sherpa and Jackie Higham have raised money for a new health centre in Nepal picture by Adrian Judd for EDP story Tracey gray

copyright of Archant 2009 01603 772434

Two trustees of a Norfolk charity have managed to return safely to Nepal's capital after being stranded on a mountain following a second earthquake.

A rescue worker stands at the site of a building that collapsed in an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 12, 2015. Photo: Niranjan Shrestha.A rescue worker stands at the site of a building that collapsed in an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 12, 2015. Photo: Niranjan Shrestha.

Catherine Blaiklock and Gyaljen Sherpa, co-founders and trustees of Nepal in Need, were distributing aid near to the epicentre of the second quake on Tuesday and ended up being stranded 3,000 metres up a mountain due to the risk of landslides.

The charity’s chairman, David Ellis, said the pair, who are Norfolk-based, and another Nepalese supporter of the charity had managed to return to Khartoum.

However, they found their hotel unsafe to enter and had to spend the night in a tent they pitched at the side of the road.

Dr Ellis said yesterday: “They are fine today and now busy loading up a lorry with more supplies of rice and provisions to set off again tomorrow for another delivery to the areas most badly affected.

A rescue worker from USAID inspects the site of a building that collapsed in an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Niranjan Shrestha.A rescue worker from USAID inspects the site of a building that collapsed in an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: Niranjan Shrestha.

“It has been a difficult time and challenging time for them.”

Nepal was just beginning to rebuild after the devastating April 25 tremor, when it was hit by a magnitude-7.3 earthquake. Tuesday’s quake killed at least 76 people, injured another 2,700 and caused landslides that blocked roads and slowed the delivery of relief supplies.

Chautara, a foothills town that became a hub for rescuers and humanitarian aid after the first earthquake, was badly hit.

Officials there said at least three people had died on Tuesday and more than 60 were injured.

The Eastern Daily Press teamed up with Unicef UK to raise money to help children affected by the disaster, and already £30,000 has been raised.

Nepal in Need, which has also been inundated with donations, flew out a team of surgeons from James Paget University Hospital, who have been operating on survivors.

Dr Ellis said they were due to be flying back to the UK yesterday and added: “We have been stunned by the generosity of people. I think people have been keen to give to Nepal in Need because they have seen we have responded quickly to this and we are able to get resources moving quickly to the places where it’s needed most.

“They see that although we are a small charity we are an effective charity.”

Dr Ellis is flying out to join the rest of the team in Nepal on Sunday, but said he was not looking to take more volunteers out until the end of the monsoon season, because the situation is still unstable.

But he said: “Nepal is a poor country and they need lots of help, and they will do for many months to come and we will do our best to provide that support for them.”

• For more information about Nepal in Need, visit www.nepalinneed.org

• Are you fundraising for Nepal? Email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk

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