Syderstone man returns after helping in Nepal

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A West Norfolk man who helped with the rescue effort after the first earthquake in Nepal is asking people not to forget the victims.

Alan Rockley, 54 of Syderstone, landed in Kathmandu a few days after the country had been rocked by the 7.8 magnitude tremor on April 25.

Mr Rockley was working with colleagues from the Search and Rescue Assistance in Disasters (SARAID) charity.

Nepal has since been rocked by a second earthquake which, although not as strong as the first, is known to have killed at least 70 people.

He said: “The resilience of people out there sticks in my mind.

“They are very poor compared to our standards. People in the UK don’t have a lot to moan about when you see these people.

“They would come up to us, shake our hands and say thank you for coming.

“The worst thing was seeing people having to live in tents on the streets having lost everything as their homes are now a pile of rubble. It makes you feel very humble.”

Mr Rockley and his colleagues landed in Kathmundu on the Monday and were based around the capital’s airport.

They were teamed up with a German team of firefighters who had specialist dogs.

The group would be given an area to search, if the dogs or sonic equipment picked up signs of life, the SRAID team would help with the rescue. If there were no signs then the buildings would be bulldozed.

Mr Rockley, a relief lorry driver, said: “I was expecting masses of buildings to be collapsed like the situation in Haiti. It wasn’t as bad as I was psyching myself up for.”

Mr Rockley was inspired to join SARAID after Haiti and this was his first deployment to a disaster.

He is now urging people to continue to support the Nepal relief effort along with the SARAID charity.

To donate to SARAID go to: http://www.saraid.org.uk

You can also help the Nepal relief effort at http://donate.unicef.org.uk