Quake survivors plea for support

Jonathan Blott and Lena Holderer are back from backpacking in Nepal after being caught up in the earthquake
Jonathan Blott and Lena Holderer are back from backpacking in Nepal after being caught up in the earthquake
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  • Couple were in a remote Nepalese valley when the earthquake struck, leaving them stranded for days
  • Now home safe, after enduring a week camping outdoors with limited supplies, they have made a plea for people to support crisis appeals
  • And they are celebrating getting engaged - deciding to take the plunge after surviving the devastating situation
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A couple caught up in the deadly Nepal earthquake found their silver lining as they decided to get engaged while stranded on a mountainside.

Now home safe and looking forward to their wedding, the pair are asking people to do all they can to help those affected by the disaster.

Jonathan Blott, from Kirkham, and his German girlfriend 
Lena Holderer survived in a devastated valley for a week with limited supplies and ongoing tremors and landslides, following the quake which 7,300 people.

Now home safe from their horrifying ordeal, they are urging people to take action to help those affected.

The pair were travelling with Sam Stalker, also from Kirkham, and his Indian girlfriend Dhwani, trekking in the Langtang Valley when the earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, struck.

They were just miles from the worst affected village of Langtang.

After surviving the quake the foursome were forced 
to camp on a mountainside for five days, surviving on 
basic rations under shelter 
of tarpaulin, before being 
able to flee, climbing up a mountain on all fours to 
reach a rescue camp.

During their terrifying week they have told how they saw and heard of people who lost everything in the quake.

The couple, who met studying neuroscience at UCL, decided to get engaged as they realised the very real prospect of being separated because of their different nationalities, during the chaos of evacuations from the mountainside.

Now they are encouraging people to give as generously, and thoughtfully, as they can to aid agencies helping in the most devastated areas.

Jonathan, speaking to The Gazette from his Church Street home, said: “People need to consider where their donations will go, if they’ll go towards helicopters going out to the mountains to rescue people. And please put pressure on embassies to help 
people, if you can.”

The couple said they were appalled by the lack of consular assistance they received from their home nations.

The group said they assumed they would receive help from their three home nations, but found embassies empty when they finally reached Kathmandu.

Jonathan said: “The rescue operation was kind of being done based on what nationality you were.

“But we couldn’t even get through to our embassy.

We had no idea what was happening.”

The couple know they are simply lucky to be alive and home safe, though.

Mr Blott added: “The fact that four of us went up 
the mountain together and made it out together is remarkable. We met others 
who weren’t so lucky.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it has so far given practical assistance to more than 350 British nationals.

n To help the relief effort go to the website www.dec.org.uk/nepal