30-year-old engineer recalls chaotic experience during earthquake in Nepal

30-year-old engineer recalls chaotic experience during earthquake in Nepal
The Malaysian group landed at KLIA2 in Sepang after being stranded in Kathmandu, Nepal.

SEPANG - Engineer Nik Mohamed Mohas Mohamed was just getting ready to return home when his hotel room in Kathmandu began to shake violently.

As a Malaysian, the 30-year-old had never experienced an earthquake before and it took awhile for him to come to his senses.

"For a few seconds, I was confused and did not understand what was going on.

"I heard people screaming and crying. When I went outside my room, a hotel worker grabbed and held me to the ground and told me to stay safe.

"Only then did I realise that it was an earthquake. I got my girlfriend out of her room and we rushed out onto the streets and saw people running for their lives. It was chaotic," said Nik Mohamed Mohas.

He was part of a group of nine Malaysians who were in Nepal to climb the Himalayas.

The group's flight out of Kathmandu was on Saturday, the day the earthquake struck, but could only leave two days later.

"The airport was like a refugee camp. It is a tiny airport and there were people everywhere.

"We had to sleep on the floor, although most of us could hardly sleep.

"We were very hungry and there was no food at the airport. It did not help that the two of us suffered from diarrhoea throughout our time in Nepal.

"So it was a relief when our plane finally took off on Monday," said Nik Mohamed Mohas, whose plane landed at 10.10pm at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport here.

He said there were over 100 passengers on the AirAsia X flight to Kuala Lumpur, the first by the airline out of Kathmandu after the earthquake.

"The airport had only six bays. With so many rescue planes arriving and leaving, including military aircraft, you could imagine the delays," he said.

Physicist Lim Sze Yuan, a member of Nik Mohamed Mohas' group, said being in the middle of an earthquake was "a scary lifetime experience", but it would not deter her from returning to Nepal.

"We had just hiked down from the Everest Base Camp two days before the earthquake, so it is quite shocking to know it could have been worse if we had been up there at the time of the incident.

"Despite this experience, I would love to return again one day because it is such a beautiful country.

"In fact, I thought of staying back to volunteer and help the earthquake victims, but in the end I decided to come home safe instead," said Lim, who is from Johor.

Another Malaysian, Sanjeet Singh, 33, was relieved that he managed to secure a last-minute seat on the same AirAsia X flight back to Malaysia.

"I spent 24 hours at the airport," said the businessman, who was greeted with relief by his family members upon his arrival.

Sanjeet said he was at the Boudhanath temple in Kathmandu during the earthquake.

"I was at the third floor of the building when the earthquake occurred.

"I ran out to the main street just like everyone else. I saw a wooden house collapse in front of my eyes," said Sanjeet, who was in Nepal for business.

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