Unbelievable escape stories have reached Ireland about some of its 120 citizens in the region of Nepal affected by the earthquake that claimed more than 4,300 lives and, according to the UN, disrupted eight million lives.
Most of the Irish were eventually established to be safe and well but three were still missing on Tuesday morning after the Saturday quake.
Irish aid worker Jack Hogan from Ranelagh in Dublin told the Irish Independent that he slept out in the open on Sunday night for fear of aftershocks. Hogan works with the Umbrella Foundation, which rescues trafficked children.
The foundation’s base is less than 50 miles from the epicenter of the magnitude 7.8 quake that hit near the capital Kathmandu.
“I was actually at home playing my guitar in my flat not far from our base when the quake hit. I followed the protocol of covering my head and the back of my neck and waited until it was over, which was about 30 seconds later,” Hogan said.
“I went outside and I could see how older and poorly constructed buildings had fallen, and a temple on the hill had collapsed.”
He made his way to the Umbrella base and discovered that around 50 feet away a building collapsed and killed two people.
An Irish man injured in an avalanche which swept through Everest base camp in the aftermath of the earthquake has been flown to Kathmandu, according to the adventure trekking company he travelled with.
Paul Greenan, 38, who runs a plant hire company in Dublin, was one of two people who received “serious, but non life-threatening injuries” in the avalanche which is reported to have claimed at least 17 lives.
Co. Longford climber Paul Devaney, who had hoped to climb Everest as part of a “seven summit” challenge, had a narrow escape as he was just 50 meters from the full impact of the avalanche when it tore through base camp.
His brother Colm told The Irish Times, “He was out photographing after the earthquake and saw it coming, and someone grabbed his sleeve and pulled him into a tent. They all then got under tables and whatever was anchored, and stayed there until they felt it was safe.”
Another Irish person, 54-year-old teacher Jacqueline Bushe, from Ballydevitt outside Donegal town, was outside Kathmandu when the earthquake struck. She told her family that she had a miracle escape.
A relative said, “She saw a cultural building standing one minute and the next minute it was gone.”
At least three Irish people were yet to make contact on Tuesday with home.
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said, “Communications remain difficult, and some citizens are believed to be in remote areas, so it may be several days before all citizens can be contacted.”