A Durban prosecutor who wanted to do something special for her 40th birthday found herself stranded on the second day of her hike when the earthquake that has killed more than 3 000 people struck on Saturday.
Roshiela Benimadho Bhogal had planned the trip after turning 40 last December, her husband Abhi Bhogal said.
“It was her 40th birthday present to herself. She has always had this calling for the mountains. When we went on holidays here, she wanted to go to the Drakensberg,” he said.
Bhogal said he was told by his brother-in-law on Saturday morning that there had been an earthquake in Nepal, but that he was not too concerned as he thought it was near Kathmandu.
“It was only later when we heard that there were avalanches on the mountain [Mount Everest] that I became very worried. But that did not last too long.”
About two hours later he received an sms from his wife informing him that she was not injured.
“I am relieved and happy,” he said admitting it was one of the nicest sms’s he had received in a long time.
Roshiela, a senior public prosecutor who is the tutor of aspirant public prosecutors for the National Prosecuting Authority, was into the second day of her hike from Namche Bazaar to the South Base Camp when the earthquake that measured 7.8 on the Richer scale struck.
Bhogal said that his wife, who was hiking solo, had told him that she had to run for cover as rocks were “rolling all over the place”, but that she was unharmed.
He said the family had no idea how they could get her out of Nepal and informed the authorities and the Red Cross.
Ultimately, his wife teamed up with a group of 11 or 12 hikers from India and they made it back to Namche Bazaar and from there she managed to get a lift with them as they were privately evacuated to the town of Lukla.
He said that in Namche Bazaar there was no food and water, but that in Lukla she had access to water and food.
“Our big problem is how do we get her out of there? She needs to get to Kathmandu,” he said.
Bhogal said that priority was being given to evacuating the injured and most desperate first. His wife did not fall into that category.
His wife was expected to be back on May 10, but with services not functioning and the scale of the tragedy Bhogal said that it might make it difficult for his wife to get home soon. News24
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