Earthquake survivors in Nalgad take turns to sleep in makeshift shelters for night’s respite

A shelter made up of tarpaulin in earthquake affected area of Jajarkot
A shelter made up of tarpaulin in the earthquake-affected area of Jajarkot.

The earthquake survivors are struggling to find adequate shelter in Jajarkot. These survivors, who have lost their homes, lack tarpaulin, forcing them to take turns sleeping in a cramped space.

One of them is Sarswati Sunwar, 33, from Nalgad Municipality. Sunwar, who lost her home, has sought refuge in a mobile shop on the road. Her house has suffered severe damage, forcing her to sleep in these makeshift shelters for only a few hours at a time.

Victim of earthquake in Jajarkot cooking food outside the house
Survivors of the earthquake in Jajarkot cooking food outside the house

“I did not realise there had been an earthquake even when a brick fell on my head. My sister-in-law started screaming after which I realised there was an earthquake and I ran out,” says Saraswati Sunwar. 

Since then, they have been living on the streets. The majority of the earthquake survivors are living in open spaces, seeking shelter under makeshift roofs made from plastics, bedsheets, and other cloths.

In some cases, more than a couple of people are sharing a small mobile shop on the roadside, taking turns to sleep.

Earthquake affected area of Jajarkot
Earthquake-affected area of Jajarkot

“We can’t even go inside the house for clothes,” says Sunwar. 

Sheela Nepali, 40, of Nalgad Municipality spent the night under a roof made up of tarpaulin.  

“Five families are sharing the same space. On one side, there were three males, and on the other side, there were five females. We also cooked food in the same area,” says Nepali.

Sheela Nepali
Sheela Nepali says they have been living in a dire state since Friday’s earthquake.

According to Nepali, the ground suddenly shook while she and her entire family were sleeping. She sustained an injury when things in her house fell. A neighbour helped her get out of the house. Nepali survived, but seven people from her neighbourhood lost their lives.

Nepali’s family has been unable to access the house to retrieve essential items. She has been relying on the assistance of her neighbours to manage food.

“We fear there will be another tremor. We are scared to go into the house,” says Nepali.

According to Yam Chaudhary, inspector of the Area Police Office, Dalli, Nalgad Municipality has the highest number of human casualties. He informed that relief and rehabilitation of the victims of the earthquake had started.

Cracked roof of the house in earthquake affected area of Jajarkot
The cracked roof of the house in the earthquake-affected area of Jajarkot

The efforts to clear the road and remove debris are currently underway. An extra team of security personnel has arrived in Jajarkot to assist the residents.

For rescue operations, a team from the Armed Police Force has been dispatched to Nalgad. According to Inspector Dikpal Tarini, the search and rescue operation is in progress.

All Photos: Chandra Bahadur Ale

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Pokharel is an Onlinekhabar correspondent covering security and crime.

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Ale is a photojournalist at Onlinekhabar.

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