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101-year-old man pulled from rubble alive is surprised he survived second Nepal quake

Irish Aid has today delivered more than 63 tonnes of life-saving humanitarian supplies.

Survivors of Nepal earthquake search for their belongings in the debris.
Survivors of Nepal earthquake search for their belongings in the debris.
Image: Bernat Armangue

WHEN HIS HOME collapsed and a large stone landed on his chest, the 101-year-old Nepalese farmer who had survived a massive quake eight decades earlier thought his time was up.

Funchu Tamang was airlifted to safety on Saturday with injuries to his chest, leg and hand, a week after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake ripped through Nepal, killing more than 7,300 people in the worst disaster to strike the Himalayan nation in more than 80 years.

As rocks thundered down the hills surrounding his village in Nuwakot district, some 80 kilometres northwest of Kathmandu, his house fell down, sending stones flying.

“I was in the garden… when the stone hit me, I thought this is it,” Tamang told AFP on today from a hospital bed in Hattigauda town where he is receiving treatment.

“But somehow I survived this time too,” he said, adding that the April 25 disaster was “much scarier” than the last major quake to hit the Kathmandu valley in 1934.

Pulled from the rubble 

His daughter-in-law pulled him out of the rubble several hours later and Tamang lived in the garden for a week until the Nepal army airlifted him to a hospital on Saturday.

“She saved me, I would have died otherwise,” Tamang said, confirming his age as 101.

“So many died in our village, the smell was terrible with all the rotting bodies and no priest to hold death rites.”

Police had initially said that Tamang was trapped under the rubble of his home ever since the quake struck on April 25, but they later said he was in fact rescued from his garden where he had been sheltering since the disaster.

As the bodies of the dead piled up, the devout Buddhist community decided to organise a mass cremation last week, he said.

Tamang’s rescue was a rare piece of good news for the devastated country after officials Saturday ruled out finding more survivors buried in the ruins.

“I don’t know if it is luck but I am a strong man… I work in the field and I walk every day.”
“Now I keep wondering when I will die, when so many younger people have already gone.”

Nepal Earthquake Source: Niranjan Shrestha

Today, Plan Ireland says it has received a delivery of more than 63 tonnes of life-saving humanitarian supplies to aid the Nepal earthquake relief effort.

The airlift contained thousands of blankets, tents, tarpaulins jerry cans and other essential items to assist those hit by the recent earthquake.

The aid has been provided by the Irish Aid, the Irish government’s programme for overseas development.

Speaking from Nepal, Plan Ireland’s Emergency Response co-ordinator, Dualta Roughneen said;

These supplies will have a big impact. Earlier today, I travelled by helicopter across some of the worst hit regions. In these areas which are inaccessible by road, at least 50% of the homes have been damaged or destroyed. I’m seeing families here who don’t have as much as a blanket to sleep under. With temperatures plummeting and the rainy season imminent, there is a significant risk of large number of people.

Plan Ireland said getting supplies in from overseas is critical.

© AFP, 2015 

Read: 101-year-old man in Nepal pulled from rubble alive – eight days after quake>

Read: ‘The avalanche just missed us’: Irish home safe after Nepal earthquake>

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