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Local doctor speaks of Nepalese earthquake devastation

Dr Jane Barrett was in Kathmandu when the 7.8 magnitude quake struck

John Herring

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John Herring

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Local doctor speaks of Nepalese earthquake devastation

A local doctor training people in Nepal has spoken of the devastation that she experienced left by the Nepalese earthquake.

Dr Jane Barrett, a consultant oncologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, was running a workshop with colleagues on the fifth floor of the Golden Pagoda Hotel in the capital when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Himalayan country on Saturday. 

Dr Barrett, who ran a weekly clinic at Newbury Hospital, said the floor started moving and people fell to the floor when the quake struck. 

"The building shook and the power went out. We were told it went on for 10 seconds but it felt longer than that," Dr Barrett said. "It felt very strong and quite frightening. People were thrown to the floor and broke their feet."  

Realising that they needed to head to safety, the group headed to an area of open space on the main road. It was there that they linked arms and stood in a circle as they felt the first of numerous powerful aftershocks to strike the devastated country. 

The official death count has now exceeded 5,000 but this figure could reach 10,000 and international aid, relief and funds are pouring into Nepal.  

Dr Barrett described the mood of the local people as one of "sadness but also of resignation. They are very used to death and accept that life is cheap. They are devastated by the immense destruction."

She urged people to donate via official relief channels, saying that the people of Nepal had lost everything. 

See Thursday's Newbury Weekly News for more of Dr Barrett's story. 

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