Doctor survived Latur earthquake, and now Kathmandu
For a 43-year-old doctor from Maharashtra, the sight of a shaking hotel in Kathmandu where he stayed when the killer quake struck Nepal, brought back memories of the massive quake in Latur in 1993, which had claimed around 8,000 lives.
"I have experienced the Killari earthquake (the epicentre of the Latur earthquake in 1993, which claimed around 8,000 lives) but I have not seen an earthquake of such a magnitude," Datta Gojamgunde, a leading pediatrician from Latur in the Marathwada region, said yesterday.
Recalling his experience in Kathmandu, he said, "The luxury hotel building where we were staying began to shake. When we ran outside, we saw the entire building swaying, like a leaf in the blowing wind."
Gojamgunde, who had landed in Nepal a day before the quake to attend an international conference on nutrition, returned to Delhi at 2 am yesterday and caught an early morning flight to Pune, before returning to Latur last evening.
"A lot of people are still trapped. A lot of Indians are waiting at the airport. Our military is extending the best possible help to them," he said. "I had gone to Nepal to attend the conference. Around 70 doctors had gone to Nepal on April 24," he said.
"When the quake struck, I heard a sound like that of a generator a whirring sound. Then everything began shaking. Even we were shaken. An old person in the hotel shouted: quake, quake, run run, after which we began running," he said. "Some of us fell down and glasses started breaking. Pillars started shaking. Chandeliers began shaking."