Student recalls quake terror

Scenes of devastation following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal earlier this year.
Student recalls quake terror
Student recalls quake terror
Student recalls quake terror
Student recalls quake terror
Scenes of devastation following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal earlier this year.

�I was in Tapoban with my mother, brother and his family,� he said. �We had just finished observing a waterfall when suddenly a loud grinding noise started.

�The entire hill started shaking. The strong shaking lasted for nearly a minute.

�We tried to call family.

�We were reluctant to return home straight away as more aftershocks were coming and we were wary of landslides in the hill roads.

�After waiting for a couple of hours, we decided to return and saw the devastation along the way.�

The 33-year-old was born in Kathmandu. He moved to Perth with his wife in 2012 but had returned home on April 4 for the festival season.

He started learning about earthquake engineering in Nepal in 2006 because of seismic activity in the south Asian country, as well inspiration from mentors.

Mr Shrestha joined Tribhuwan University in Nepal to study a masters in structural engineering.

His research was focused on seismic performance of structures in Nepal.

His hunger to learn and do more in the field of earthquake engineering led the now Langford resident to move to Perth.

With several years experience, as well as being in Nepal when the earthquake hit, Mr Shrestha was able to use his skills to collect field data on behalf of the Australian Earthquake Engineering Society (AEES).

�I collected the damage details with their geospatial locations and basic summary of damage pattern that could help others to identify the distribution and extent of damages at different location in Kathmandu valley and eastern hill towns of Chautara and Dolakha bazaar,� he said.

Mr Shrestha was supposed to return to Perth on May 9, but extended his stay until May 30 so he could continue to help.

Having seen the horrific impact of the earthquake, he hopes enough is learnt to prevent the same thing happening again.

�There is no doubt that we will rise again but we need to ensure that we rise not to fall again,� Mr Shrestha said. �For this, better building techniques will have to be advocated.�

Mr Shrestha lost his aunt and 200-year-old ancestral house in the earthquake.