Aid workers from Sheffield charity come to rescue of earthquake survivors in Nepal

Dr Gerda Pohl, PHASE's medical coordinator and a Trustee, who until recently worked at a GP near Rotherham, treating victims of the Nepal earthquake.
Dr Gerda Pohl, PHASE's medical coordinator and a Trustee, who until recently worked at a GP near Rotherham, treating victims of the Nepal earthquake.
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Aid workers from a Sheffield-based charity are working to help survivors of Nepal’s devastating earthquake.

Phase Worldwide has more than 70 staff in Nepal, working in remote communities in the Himalayas which were close to the epicentre of Saturday’s earthquake.

Staff from the charity, which provides healthcare, education and livelihood training, are trying to provide emergency food, water and medical supplies.

Former Rotherham GP Dr Gerda Pohl, Phase’s medical co-ordinator, was on her way to Fulpingkot village, in the Sindhupalchok region, when the earthquake hit.

She said: “We are currently trying to assess what support our staff need with a view to keeping our health posts in the field open to respond to the significant and immediate medical need.

“We are also working to ensure our staff have access to shelter, food and safe drinking water to reduce the risk to their wellbeing over the coming days.”

Jiban Karki, executive director of Phase Nepal, who is living in Sheffield and working toward a PhD at Sheffield University, said the devastation was ‘unimaginable’.

He said: “People have lost everything – their homes have collapsed, they have limited food or equipment to prepare food and much of their livestock has been killed.”

Phase is appealing for donations to provide essential emergency support.

Sarah Galvin, director, said: We need urgent assistance.”

Meanwhile, a Doncaster woman visiting friends at an apartment block in Katmandu has spoken of the terrifying moment the quake hit.

Nottingham Trent University student Lydia Denton, aged 21, of Long Square, Auckley, said: “We were drinking tea when it happened. All of a sudden everything began to shake and the cups went flying off the table.

“It was shocking. We started going downstairs, because we knew we had to get out of the building.

“It was scary, but to be honest when something like that happens, you just kind of go on to autopilot.

“We were all okay, but you can’t help but think what if we were in another building.”

Sheffield-based climbing expedition firm Jagged Globe said it had now accounted for all its staff and customers in the region.

One customer, Google executive Dan Fredinburg, died from head injuries after being caught in an avalanche caused by the earthquake

n To donate, visit www.phaseworldwide.org