A city dad has told how he rushed to help earthquake victims in Nepal – only to find himself in the throes of a second life-threatening quake.
Thomas Fergusson works for the International Medical Corps and arrived in Nepal within 48 hours of the April disaster.
His task was to hand out hygiene kits and restore sanitation to the shattered communities.
He was eating his lunch when he suddenly felt the earth move – literally.
“Everything started falling off the tables and people started screaming,” he said.
“The scariest part was the noise; it was like a huge, low dull vibration.”
The second earthquake, which measured 7.3 on the Richter scale, caused even more damage.
In total, 8,000 lives were lost and an estimated 100,000 people were made homeless.
With more than a million people left with no access to fresh water supplies, Thomas and his team worked round the clock to prevent the spread of disease.
“It was an intensely emotional and harrowing time. But it was also inspirational,” he said.
Thomas, who is 39, had previously lived in Kathmandu for a year during his work with the Corps.
“It was sad to have to respond to such a humanitarian disaster in a place I used to call home, but I was happy to be able to employ my skills to help victims of the earthquakes,” he said.
He is now nearing the end of his work and due to return to Milton Keynes.
“I really miss my wife and kids, my family and friends and can’t wait to see them.”
“I’m also looking forward to some fish and chips and getting a decent pint when I get home,” he said.