Beverly Williams

Local resident recounts deadly earthquake in Nepal

Beverly Williams encourages Red Deerians to donate after second quake hits

  • May. 13, 2015 3:08 p.m.

One local woman is happy to be alive after surviving the deadly earthquake that hit Nepal and left thousands dead, injured and still missing.

Beverly Williams was on a three-week trek in Nepal to meet the people who supply her with fleece-lined mitts that she sells at the Red Deer Farmer’s Market.

More than 8,000 people are dead after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on April 25th. Just yesterday another 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit near the town of Namche Bazaar, killing and injuring even more people.

During her time there Williams decided to hike in Langtang National Park. She went with her guide named Harin, a Nepali. While on the hike Williams hurt her right leg badly, so she and Har had to turn around and head back to Kathmandu.

At about noon in Nepal on April 25th, the earthquake hit the area. Williams was on a bus heading back to Kathmandu at the time.

“I was in a stupor, I didn’t know what happened. My guide was grabbing me and everyone was running out of the bus. It was very dusty – you couldn’t even see it was so dusty,” she said. “My first thought wasn’t that it was an earthquake, it was that we had gone over the cliff.”

After getting off the bus, Williams said the group was sitting on the side of the road and groups of people on motorcycles began coming around and telling them what had happened. “Everyone started walking back to Kathmandu. I am a slow walker so everyone passed and it was just my guide and I,” she said, adding they spent the first night after the earthquake in a village.

At 4:30 a.m. the next morning, Williams and her guide continued their trek.

While hiking back to Kathmandu, Williams came across another bus that was a few kilometres ahead of the one she was in. A rock about 5 ft. above the bus has ripped right through it. “I know people died there and I know that could have been my bus.

“Har’s first concern was me the whole time. After the earthquake we got even closer. We were holding hands and walking, we were linked arm and arm. We were both listening for landslides.”

Somewhere along the way, a truck picked the pair up and took them the rest of the way to Kathmandu – a day and a half after the earthquake hit.

When she returned to Kathmandu Williams said there were countless people walking around and everyone was sleeping outside because it was dangerous because of the continuous aftershocks. Medical stations were also set up along the side of the street where there were people caring for the wounded.

“I went to a school and I did sleep there for two days. While I was there I needed to contact my family, but no one could get through and all the hotels were closed. I did get a few people in the schoolyard to see if they could contact my daughter, but it wasn’t going through.”

Seeing the devastation firsthand is something that is engrained in Williams’ mind.

“(Before the earthquake) I saw the beautiful landscape, people farming on hillsides. (After the earthquake) you saw more than 75 per cent of buildings down. Everyone was in shock,” she said. “I was walking along and there was a little 80- to 90-year-old woman and she was sitting on a pail or something. I knew she has nothing.”

Williams said the need in Nepal is great and she encourages Red Deerians to donate.

Local Rotarians are raising money for shelterboxes, which include a family tent, blankets, water purification, cooking utensils, a stove, tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other items.

“It’s important for people to know where their donations are going.”

Williams is also hoping to raise money to build a new house for her guide Har, who lost everything in the earthquake as well.

“After Har had learned that he had lost his home, I was his first and only concern,” she said. “I want to give back.”

Williams is at the Red Deer Farmer’s Market with her booth, Woolen Wonders, and will be collecting donations there in hopes of rebuilding Har’s home.

For more information, visit www.shelterboxcanada.org.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Ronnie Dixie gets another chance at life from a liver transplant

Red Deerians invited to annual Stroll for Liver charity walk June 3rd

Trial for man accused of 2006 Eckville murder “unreasonably delayed”

Lacombe’s Shayne Gulka is awaiting trial for the 2006 murder of Bradley Webber

Individuals face 84 criminal charges related to stolen, counterfeit credit cards

Investigation and search warrant executed collaboratively by Red Deer and Sylvan Lake RCMP

Red Deer’s Stephanie Essensa back in the ring May 26th

Essensa joins Dekada lineup in Calgary

Norman Wiebe has registered as a nominee for the UCP in Red Deer South

Hospital and courthouse among pressing concerns to Wiebe

Changes needed for ‘Alert Ready’ mass emergency system

‘You need to strike this careful balance between alerting people to lots of problems — and doing it too often’

Las Vegas Golden Knights move on to Stanley Cup final

Improbable run continues for NHL’s newest expansion team

Oregon’s flooded recreational pot market a cautionary tale to Canada

‘In a broader sense, we are adding legal production to an already robust illegal production’

3 survivors after airliner with 110 aboard crashes in Cuba

It was Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades and its third major air accident since 2010

Maskwacis and feds sign historic education agreement

The Maskwacis Education School Commission signed an agreement setting the stage for their education

Plane with 104 on board crashes on takeoff in Cuba

Boeing 737 operated by state airline Cubana crashed on takeoff from Jose Marti International Airport

UPDATED: Gunman opens fire in Texas high school, killing up to 10

Santa Fe High School which went on lockdown around 8 a.m. Friday

Coroner speaks about mix-up of Humboldt Broncos crash victims, release of name

A coroner involved says it wasn’t until an injured player woke up in hospital and said he was a different person that officials realized the mistake

Most Read