Coldstream aid worker Gemma Gillie was caught up in Nepal’s second major earthquake in three weeks having flown as part of the emergency response to the first one.
At around lunchtime on Tuesday an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 struck 47 miles of Kathmandu where Gemma, who is a humanitarian information and communications manager with Save the Children, was working.
Fortunately she was able to send a message home immediately, before the news started breaking back in the UK of the latest blow to hit an already devastated Nepal.
“I’m safe. Terrified but safe,” she said. “I was on the top floor when it happened - have never been so scared in all my life.”
The next few hours were frantic as her role as communications manager meant she was Save the Children’s point of contact for the media wanting information, as well as communicating back to head office what was happening on the ground.
Over the next few hours she did 42 interviews for newspapers and television and had two hours sleep overnight before starting again on Wednesday morning.
They had been experiencing earth tremors for days and on Sunday there was a 4.2 earthquake which Gemma described as feeling “weird” but Tuesday’s earthquake caused utter panic.
“A lot of people had been camping outside until a few days ago because they were too scared to go back into their homes and now this has happened.
“The building was swaying, it was like being on a boat, and people were screaming, it was completely terrifying.”