Northern Rivers woman saving lives in vanished Nepal village

ONE DAY it was there, the next it was gone, and with it 243 brave souls smothered in rubble.

The story of remote Langtang Village is a tragic one - just one of many to emerge in the aftermath of the disastrous Nepal earthquake.

Of the village's 190 residents, just seven survived, when an avalanche literally wiped the village off the map during the massive quake.

MORE: Bangalow GP working on disaster relief in Nepal

At least 60 foreigners who were staying there also died.

The wider Langtang Valley also lost half of its population. Bodies are still being pulled from the rubble.

The village of Langtang, before and after the earthquake. Photo Contributed
The village of Langtang, before and after the earthquake. Photo Contributed Contributed

In 2013 a group of Australians in partnership with local villagers created a community clinic in Langtang Village called Langtang Valley Health.

North Coast local and Langtang Valley Health committee member Brigid Kramer said since its inception the clinic had become a hub for the valley community, and so naturally the surviving villagers had stayed in contact following the quake.

About the Langtang Village

  • Langtang Village is an eight-hour drive on a very bad road or a three day walk from Kathmandu.
  • About 400 years ago the valley was uninhabited and Tibetan refugees moved there.
  • They are yak farmers, and their first language is not Nepali but Tibetan.
  • Since tourism in the form of trekking began, more Nepalese started settling there, making the population mixed but still mainly of Tibetan origin.
  • To help raise funds, go to the fundraising dinner at the Bangalow A and I Hall on June 13.

The group is now helping to feed the some 400 villagers from the wider valley, who are staying a monastery in Kathmandu sleeping under tents and tarpaulins.

Brigid Kramer, right, pictured in 2013 with Rebekka Battista (centre) and Lisa Parkes when in the lead-up to the Byron Lighthouse Run.
Brigid Kramer, right, pictured in 2013 with Rebekka Battista (centre) and Lisa Parkes when in the lead-up to the Byron Lighthouse Run. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

"They have lost their homes, their income and many family members," Ms Kramer said.

"The Langtang Valley is still not safe to return to and we face a long journey with them as they negotiate the awfulness of what has happened to them.

"We're dealing with displaced people who are in Kathmandu who have lost everything and are in grief."

One is a woman who is paralysed from her waist down, but with surgery could make a full recovery. There are also several orphans.

MORE: End of the world: Bangalow survivor tells of quake horror

Ms Kramer said it was a "truly devastating story" which was also confusing.

"There was something really good happening there, they were going to open a school in the next three months. Children had come back from Kathmandu to start school there and now they are dead," she said.

"The whole village needs rebuilding and it needs to be carted up to hill by porters. It's not going be easy."

The Brookfarm Byron Lighthouse Run, 2013, supported Langtang Valley Health and Our House. Brigid Kramer is pictured second from the right.
The Brookfarm Byron Lighthouse Run, 2013, supported Langtang Valley Health and Our House. Brigid Kramer is pictured second from the right. Contributed

To raise money for disaster relief for the Langtang Valley survivors, there are two upcoming events.

Yesterday supporters attended the Rous Unplugged event at the Rous Mill Hall - where all donations raised will go to Langtang Valley Health.

And then on Saturday June 13, a major fundraising dinner will be held in Bangalow featuring traditional Indian Nepalese food, circus performances, live music, live auction, Bollywood dancing and with Nepalese nationals attending.



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