Thursday, 4 June 2015

Langtang locals returning home to recover their dead

After more than a month of sheltering at Yellow Gomba monastery at Swayambhu in the capital, the locals of Langtang VDC have begun to return to their villages in Rasuwa district in hopes of recovering the bodies of dead relatives and learning about the condition of their settlement.

The catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake of April 25 triggered massive a avalanche in Langtang, which caused great loss of life and property. They locals were forced to relocate due to reoccurring avalanches.

With the earthquake aftershocks now slowly receding, they are heading back to Langtang in hopes of at least recovering the bodies of relatives who perished, if not finding them still alive.

"We've decided to go back as the government has been deaf to our requests to excavate the sites where our families remain buried, even a month after the incident," said Phinjo Tamang of Thangshap, Langtang-7.

Tamang lost his younger brother and mother in the avalanche. Like him, many locals remain unable to perform the final rites of their deceased as the bodies remain unrecovered.

Although the district administration office has prohibited entry to the incident site citing the hazards, 40 local quake victims are heading from Kathmandu to reach the site within two days. As many as 488 displaced locals from Langtang have been sheltering at the Yellow Gomba.

"Of late, the bodies of the deceased can be spotted as the snow has started melting," added Tamang.

Dawa Tsering Tamang of Langtang-5, who lost both his parents, said he is returning home in hopes of recovering their bodies. "Had the Nepal Army not rescued us on time, we too would have been buried. But we are returning as we've heard that tthe snows are melting," he added.

After losing his father, mother, brother and sister, Singey Tamang of Langtang-5 has hardly had any good sleep. He said another reason the locals are returning is that the climate in Kathmandu does not suit them. They are more used to colder climatic conditions.

Another local, Prenurba Tamang, also said that they found it very difficult to adjust to the climate in Kathmandu. Tamang, who lost six members of his family, said, "Mosquitoes don't let us sleep at night. Besides going back to recover our dead, we'd prefer the colder climate there despite the avalanche risks," he added.

"Although the government has categorized our family as 'missing' rather than 'dead', the hopes of finding them alive are very slim. We are returning to at least recover the bodies," said Singey Tamang.

They plan to start recovery operations as soon as they reach back there. They also said they will find safer places to settle in as the government failed to help them relocate properly.

As many as 210 people; including 70 locals, 40 tourists, their guides and porters, have been categorized as 'missing' from Langtang.

According to Gautam Rimal, assistant chief district officer of Langtang, 128 bodies have been excavated from the VDC so far, among which 14 are those of foreign nationals.

Thursday 4 June 2015


Post a Comment