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Saturday 3 June 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# Fundraising
'The avalanche just missed us': Irish home safe after Nepal earthquake
One has set up a fundraising page to help with the aid effort.

THE GOVERNMENT CONFIRMED on Friday that all 140 Irish citizens in Nepal at the time of last week’s deadly earthquake are now home safe.

The country has been left devastated by quake, with the hope of finding anymore survivors fading and 1,000 Europeans still missing.

Amy Webster from Co Derry in Northern Ireland spoke to on Friday while her group were waiting to get out of the country.

photos of amy Amy Webster

She and her boyfriend Ryan Lloyd Davies  had been on their way to Base Camp one hour before the earthquake hit but turned back because Ryan fell sick. When they spoke to this website they were at the Gorak Shep waiting for a flight out of the country.

“We were just trying to order lunch and then the ground started shaking. And then it started shaking more,” Amy said, “We thought somebody was kicking the table. We then ran outside.

Then the avalanche came down the valley. Where we are is miles away from Everest but the tail end of it hit our hotel. The guesthouse we were staying in and it hit the window. It was really scary because you didn’t know how solid it was.

“We have no idea how to book flights out. We are just hoping someone is going to let us on a plane tomorrow.”

Helen Tormey arrived was back on Irish soil by Friday.

She was passing through Nepal on a backpacking trip at the time of the quake, and told this website she had “an incredibly lucky few days”.

She is now planning a series of sponsored walks to raise funds for the aid effort, “to repay the kindness we experienced while over there both before and after the earthquake”.

The group she was with were travelling from Pokhara to Kathmandu and was stopped at the rest stop in a mountainous region when the earthquake hit.

“When it first started, it felt like a train coming. My first thought was, ‘I didn’t know there was a train around here’,” Helen said.

It got worse and worse, and louder and louder, until we were all shaking. We all went up to a car park nearby until the shaking stopped.

“The road was next to a hill-face, and we were staring at it hoping nothing came down. Thankfully nothing did.”

The group travelled on to Kathmandu, where the scale of the quake became apparent.

“We had no accommodation planned, and it was getting dark. We were looking at our maps trying to find a hostel when a man saw us, asked if we needed anywhere to stay, and told us he owned a hostel nearby. It was incredibly lucky.”

IMG_1554 Aoife Ryan, Martha Gavin, Caitlin Gardner, and Helen Tormey at the Monkey Temple in Kathmandu

Helen said they stayed in a field next to this hostel, where families whose homes had been damaged by the quake had also set up camp, and was there when the aftershock hit.

The group later made contact with the British Embassy who allowed them to stay until a flight was organised back to Europe.

Helen’s parents (along with Aoife Ryan’s, pictured above, mum), were there to greet her when they they arrived in the United Kingdom shortly after 3am on Thursday night, and got a boat back to Ireland the next day.

Helen described the three days as “incredibly lucky”, and praised the help of the hostel owners and the British Embassy.

She is now organising a series of Climb for Kathmandu walks to raise funds.

“Have some craic with it and take photographs of your climbs to encourage others to do their own,” the Facebook event page reads. “A lot of you are in various places across the world and you should incorporate that into it, climb a skyscraper or Matchu Picchu.”

You can find more details about the event here, or donate at their fundraising page.

Additional reporting by Michael Sheils-McNamee

Read: All Irish citizens in Nepal are safe, as 1,000 Europeans remain missing

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