101-year-old man rescued from the earthquake rubble – an inexplicable escape!

Nepal was struck with a major earthquake on April 25, 2015. With its epicenter in a village called Barpak in Gorkha District, the earthquake was so strong it even shook some parts of Nepal’s neighboring countries. This is the only major earthquake that hit Nepal after the 1943 earthquake in Bihar. This particular one caught the Asian country completely unaware. Hitting at a shallow depth of 15 km, this lasted for almost 20 seconds. The neighboring areas like West Bengal, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Assam, Orissa, Bihar, as far as Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka felt tremors. The Earthquake was also felt in Southwest China, Pakistan and Bhutan.


1 The Gorkha Earthquake 2015

Nepal is a developing country with a low-income economy, which is why it depended on outside help. It is a landlocked country surrounded by the great Himalayas, which makes reaching out quite a difficult task. Hundreds, even thousands, were affected with a death toll that rose up to more than 7,500 in Nepal alone. Thousands injured who need immediate medical attention while hundreds of people are still missing. The search is on with strength of helpful neighboring countries. When the earthquake hit, there were around 20,000 foreigners in Nepal touring the Himalayas and its beautiful locales but some of them died while others were injured.

The Gorkha Earthquake 2015

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2 Funchu Tamang, The Great Survivor

It took some time for help to reach the quake-hit venue. But teams from 20 different countries with sniffer dogs and heat-seeking equipment are rummaging through the rubble in hopes of recovering more lives every day. In the different areas, the Nepali Police Force is majorly doing rescue work. To their surprise, a group of rescue workers foraging through the rubble of destroyed establishments discovered a 101-year-old man alive underneath the debris seven days after the earthquake. He was ultimately unearthed and rescued under the wreckage of his own house, which collapsed on him during the quake. Officer Arun Kumar reported that survivor, Funchu Tamang, is a native of Kimtang Village in the Nuwakot District about 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu. To many, it is a wonder if it was due to divine intervention or tremendous luck that Tamang remained unbeaten by the unkind blows of nature for the second time around while his home and country lay shattered.

Funchu Tamang, The Great Survivor

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3 Funchu Tamang’s Rescue

Tamang was airlifted from the site by a helicopter and transferred to the nearest operative hospital for medical help. He only suffered from minor injuries on his ankle and chest. He said that he wasn’t sure whether it was mere coincidence that he was found alive. He also admitted that he is a strong man working in the fields all day long and is capable of withstanding the hardships of nature. In the hospital, he felt blessed when he was reunited with his family with whom he had lost touch with.

Funchu Tamang’s Rescue

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4 Found under the rubble of his favorite spot at home

He was trapped under his place of relaxation— his veranda, which now lay in waste. He survived by munching on some of the rubble and drinking what water was available. This centenarian survived the 1934 earthquake, who was then in his 20s, as well as this major quake in his late age. He laments over the fact that he, a man at the far end of his life, was given a life extension while those who should have survived died. Well, life and death are beyond anybody’s control. He did claim that the intensity of this quake was far stronger than he remembered than that of the 1934 quake.

Found under the rubble of his favorite spot at home

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5 Other survivors from the Gorkha Earthquake

Like Funchu Tamang, there are other remarkable survivor stories like that of a woman who was recovered from a landslide or two others who were saved under the rubble. Another man, Rishi Khanal, was unearthed after 82 long hours where 10 hours of it was spent by a rescue team trying to get him out. The Rescue Team said it was his strong willpower which helped him survive through the long drawn battle. He had multiple injuries and was sent to the hospital for treatment. There was also a four month old baby found under the debris after 22 hours.

Other survivors from the Gorkha Earthquake

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6 The earthquake’s damage to Nepal

The earthquake has also triggered an avalanche near the mountains, which killed and injured many. There were numerous foreign trekkers who were badly affected by the havoc. Some have been rescued and escorted to hospitals while the Government sent the others at home who were in better condition. The airport has been running night and day to facilitate people in and out of Nepal. For rescue teams to reach different venues and foreigners to flee toward their safe abode. Relief supplies are being provided to the needy– food, tents, clothes and water. But the shortage of parking space and damage to the runway posed major problems for this reason, some volunteer aircrafts are rejected entry. Some planes with relief supplies have been stopped from entering due to potholes in the runaway. The runway is the lifeline of Kathmandu and must be repaired and rescued from further damage.

The earthquake’s damage to Nepal

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7 The Gorkha Earthquake Aftermath

This is the heart-wrenching condition of Nepal. Gorkha, which had been separated from the rest of the terrain due to landslides, was only reached after three days of the devastation. Help from UN’s World Food Program (WFP) reached soon while UNICEF was frantically trying to reach out to millions of children with water and medication. Tents were sent in great numbers for people to take shelter since thousands became homeless overnight. The destruction is less in the modernized areas compared to the countryside.

The Gorkha Earthquake Aftermath

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8 What goes beyond a Rescue

There is help from every expected and unexpected corner, a human feeling for another. Nature is the best teacher, they say, where in one second a millionaire and a beggar is brought to the same level. Our heart goes out to all those who were affected by this natural calamity. We feel sorry for the families of who were affected and the loss they have incurred and also hope for the quick recovery of the injured. The finding of Funchu Tamang is just a touch of magic probably as reassurance of the good things that are still waiting.

What goes beyond a Rescue

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