Heanor man caught up in Nepal earthquake

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A Heanor man was in Nepal when a massive earthquake hit on Saturday.

Owen Blackwell had arrived in Nepal, where his wife Sita is from, the week before the disaster, which has left more than 3,600 people dead.

Mr Blackwell, a member of Heanor Rotary Club, who has been carrying out a project in Nepal and built a house there 18 years ago, said: “I was in the house when the earthquake happened. I had just got back from a four day trip. The house rocked like crazy. We didn’t got much damage but a few of our neighbours’ houses have fallen down and quite a few people died. All my relatives managed to get out but we lost four people we know.”

He said there was little left of the city centre.

On Facebook, he wrote: “We just had a couple of tremors. The police told us not to go inside the house. We have to run in to our home, fetch things and run outside. I think I will have to have a beer this evening. I am sleeping in a bar but didn’t have a drink last night. It’s a bamboo building with a tin roof about 100 meters from my house.”

He has reassured family and friends back home that he is OK and is living in a small bamboo tea house in the capital, Kathmandu. He said: “It’s too dangerous to be in the home at the moment, my house is safe but some neighbours’ house are not. It’s too dangerous to travel at the moment. My wife’s village is very damaged. ”

More than 6,500 people have been injured in the disaster, according to the National Emergency Operation Centre. People afraid to return to their homes fearing aftershocks have headed to tent cities that have set up in Kathmandu.

Owen is currently helping people who have been affected by the earthquake and helps people back home will raise funds to help people.

The earthquake measured 6.7 on the richter scale.