PETALING JAYA: An eight-month pregnant mother was among 104 Malaysians who arrived safely at the Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) Base, Subang, from Kathmandu, Nepal in a TUDM C-130 aircraft early this morning.
Sheila Vandalasamy, 34, who works at the Malaysian Embassy’s Immigration Division in Kathmandu, returned home with husband A. Kumaraw, 37.
“This is the first time we had such a terrifying experience (the earthquake). Prior to this, there were tremors, but they were small. Our house in Kathmandu suddenly shook that morning (Saturday). We rushed out of the house when it started shaking and household items fell to the floor and broke,” she told reporters met at her home at 12.30am today.
Sheila said every second was a very fearful one before the arrival of the rescue team due to the aftershocks and all buildings shaking.
She said, the experience of witnessing bodies sprawled in the ruins of buildings and the shouts of people who tried to save themselves or looked for loved ones, would not never be forgotten.
Meanwhile, Nazahiyah Muhd Hadzir, 30, one of the 13 participants of a High Altitude Ride who was met at the base, said during the incident she was purchasing some essential items at a sundry shop in the town.
She said suddenly the shophouse shook and she was almost thrown out of the shop when attempting to save herself.
“I saw people running for cover, and I heard people shouting earthquake. I saw the shop started to crack and collapse. There were bodies all over the place,” she said.
All the Malaysians who arrived home departed from the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu last night (April 28).
They were received by family members and friends who started gathering at the TUDM base since yesterday evening.
The flight by the C-130 to Kathmandu also had 30 members of the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team and 20 medical officers from Mercy Malaysia and the Malaysian Red Crescent Society on board to help the earthquake victims.
The earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, hit Nepal in the area between the capital, Kathmandu and the town of Pokhara at 2.56pm (Malaysian Time) on Saturday. Several aftershocks also took place.
So far, the earthquake, the worst to have struck Nepal in 81 years, is reported to have left more than 5,000 people dead with 8,000 more injured.