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Back from Nepal, Odisha family yet to get over horror of quake

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Brahmapur, May 1:

A shaken and traumatised Odisha couple settled in Nepal, which survived the devastating earthquake in the Himalayan country, says it is indebted to family members and God for giving them a new lease of life .

quake survivor

The Odisha couple, which reached their hometown safely, recounted the quake horror in which thousands of people were killed and many displaced as a powerful 7.9- magnitude temblor ripped through Nepal on April 25. Roads developed huge cracks and buildings were brought to the ground.

The couple hailing from Padmanagar in Brahmapur city of Ganjam district, which saw its home turn into a rubble, is yet to come to terms with the devastation. They say cries for help still echo in their minds.

Sudhanshu Sekhar Majhi has set up his outsourcing business in Nepal and has settled there since last 14 years. He had taken his wife and his nine-month-old baby to Kathmandu recently.

He was residing on the ground floor of a three-storey building at Chakrapath in Maharajganj area with his wife Himani and girl Nandini.

Like any other day, Sudhanshu was getting ready for his office and Himani was looking after the baby. At around 10.45 am on the fateful day, the maid working at the backyard of the flat suddenly hurried into the house terrified with the tremors. The intensity of the quake was so high that they saw cracks appearing on the walls and the articles tumbling all over the place.

With the earthquake lasting for several minutes, they ran out of the house to safety.

Within barely five minutes of the quake, they saw the building crashing down like a pack of cards. The power and telecommunication network snapped adding to the woes of the people.

Wading through an air of desperation, they approached a police station barely a few meters away from their flattened house. They were provided with temporary shelter and had to spend four days in the camp braving intermittent quakes, the horror and the inclement weather.

For four days from April 25-28, the quake-hit people, who had taken shelter at the camps, had to survive with biscuit and water provided by the aid teams. For infants, baby foods were supplied to them.

Sudhanshu managed to get air tickets of Air India from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu to Kolkata on Monday. The family reached the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport late on Tuesday night and then boarded a connecting flight to Bhubaneswar. On their arrival in the Odisha capital, anxiously waiting family members warmly received the trio and accompanied them to their native place in the Silk City.

The aging parents of Sudhanshu—Bighneswar and Pramodini—are a relieved lot after seeing their son and his family in flesh and blood.