By Nichola Jones
A school boy fascinated by natural disasters and inspired by his geography teacher to learn earthquake survival skills has spoken of how he used his knowledge to save his family.
Fifteen-year-old Regish Giri, from Chautara in badly-hit Sindupolchowk, was at home with his mum, aunt, uncle and two-year-old brother Ronit when the 7.8 magnitude quake hit.
“I was playing with my little brother in my room when everything started to shake,” he said.
“I knew we needed to cover our heads and get to an open space as soon as we could so I picked up my brother and ran out of the house.
“My mum and my aunt were really scared and wanted to stay but I told them we had to go and made them come with me.
“We were falling as we ran away but we got to a field, away from buildings and trees and lay down.
”Many people died in our area. My mum is suffering from trauma but I think my little brother is too young to understand.”
More than 2,500 people were killed in Sindupolchowk, one of the worst affected districts of Nepal.
Regish had taken part in an earthquake preparedness programme with the Nepalese Red Cross his school after being encouraged to learn more by his geography teacher Suresh Shrestha.
Mr Shrestha was in Chautara town on the road with his motorbike when the quake hit. He died instantly when a building collapsed on him. He leaves behind a wife and children.
Regish said: “I have always been very interested in natural disasters and had learnt what to do from the Nepalese Red Cross and my teacher.
“When I heard he had died, I was so upset. He was a good man and a great teacher. I owe him a lot.”
The Nepalese Red Cross has been training thousands of people in first aid, what to do before, during and after an earthquake as well working with the communities to prepare disaster plans.
The British Red Cross has also been supporting a three-year programme to help people across 66 communities in the Kathmandu valley prepare better for disasters, with a focus on earthquakes.