Nepal Earthquake: At Kathmandu Airport, a bit of panic, a lot of paranthas and puri

'We are here for you, don’t worry. We will take everybody with us' : Indian Air Force in Nepal

Written by Abhimanyu Chakravorty | New Delhi | Updated: April 27, 2015 11:18 pm
plane-rescue-759 IAF plane at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu for rescue operations. (Source: Express Photo by Abhimanyu Chakravorty)

“We are here for you, don’t worry. We will take everybody with us,” Indian Air Force officers told the hundreds of Indians who gathered around the IL-76 that landed at 2:30pm on the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Sunday.

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With most flights out of Kathmandu delayed or cancelled, there were thousands of people occupying every inch of the airport. And this was why the IAF aircraft came as a sigh of relief for at least the Indians. However, the evacuation process was not as easy as those relieved faces.

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“We are waiting for a list of people from the Indian Embassy here. Once we get the manifest, we will tally the names and evacuate people one by one,” said an officer.

“What is a manifest? What happens to us?” shouted back a woman in the crowd. “Please settle down, have refreshments first. There are paranthas and puris for you,” said officer S K Giri in a calm tone. “Why are you taking so much time to evacuate?” asked the visibly frustrated woman. Some people had been waiting at the airport since 5 am.

IAF aircraft IL-76MD ready for evacuation of Indian nationals. (Source: Abhimanyu Chakravorty) IAF aircraft IL-76MD ready for evacuation of Indian nationals. (Source: Express Photo by Abhimanyu Chakravorty)

Vijay Kalra, a Director with the National Disaster Management Authority of the Indian Government, said there were already 2000 names in the list. As people badgered him with questions regarding their status, he asked them not to worry. “Every one of you will be rescued,” he assured them.

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Another officer was heard saying: “You guys are very less in number, so that shouldn’t be an issue. We will take only 1.5 hours to reach New Delhi. For now, please have paranthas and puri.”

nepal, nepal earthquake, earthquake Stranded people being flown to India by an IAF plane from earthquake-hit Nepal on Monday. (Source: PTI photo)

Soon someone asked the people to line up, the elderly and women first. “We can only give them ‘our list’ once you guys stand in a proper line,” he said.

PHOTO GALLERY: Worst earthquake in eight decades leaves Nepal ravaged

One person, overwhelmed by the situation, started weeping. Then the IAF officer talking to the people stepped in: “Sir, I understand your problem. Even I have family in Bihar and there has been an earthquake there too. I know how it feels l. I am one of you only.”

Eventually, around 8:30 pm, people started boarding the flight and an hour later the IL-76 had taken off for New Delhi with around 200 Indians.

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  1. I
    Inku chetry
    Apr 28, 2015 at 6:17 am
    our government should help as much possible in rescue Nepal frm this victim. ..I like to giv a big salute to IAF for thier sacrifice towards helping people. ...
    1. N
      Apr 27, 2015 at 10:43 pm
      I appreciate all the efforts made by our government to help victims of Nepal earthquake. God will reward our government for their good heart. Our farmers are facing similar or bigger earthquakes everyday in India. Thousands of farmers die daily and lakhs are going without food. May God help our Government to realize this and extend similar type of help to farmers as well.
      1. Raman Vr
        Apr 27, 2015 at 9:11 pm
        Are there no rescue teams from other countries ( neighboring and from US ). Why our media is covering only Indian efforts?
        1. Raman Vr
          Apr 27, 2015 at 9:07 pm
          Uttrakhand disaster happened - 14-17th June Relief trucks rady - 20th June RaGa flagged off trucks - 23 June Nepal earth quake at 11.56 AM Meeting called by Modi at 3 PM First plane with relief material landed befoe 6 PM and later a plane every 2 hrs. Nothing more to say. Make your own conclusion.
          1. S
            Apr 27, 2015 at 11:10 pm
            I liked your comment up to some extent, but one thing why we have to look towards government for every thing ?
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