A PERSHORE paramedic has flown to Nepal following a desperate plea for help after the devastating earthquake which claimed more than 7,500 lives.
Phil Llewellyn, who is based in Pershore, will provide assistance following the powerful earthquake 80km northwest of the capital Kathmandu on April 25.
The advanced paramedic and father of two funded the trip out of his own pocket and left on Bank Holiday Monday (May 4) after receiving a heartbreaking e-mail from a friend in the devastated region
A total of 7,675 are now believed to have died and 16,300 are injured after the quake flattened mountain towns and destroyed buildings in the densely populated capital Kathmandu.
The Nepalese Government has called an end to the search and rescue effort and shifted the focus to providing shelter for millions who have been left homeless.
However, officials and rescuers like Phil have a race against time as the monsoon season is set to begin at the end of the month.
“I have personal reasons in wanting to go to Nepal to help. When it happened, it felt to me like it happened to members of my family.” he said.
“I have been to the country several times over the past 12 years. I have a friend who is Nepalese who lives close to the epicentre of the earthquake.
“He has lost his parents and family members but his wife and children are alive.
“Most of his village has been wiped out. He has walked to Kathmandu – it took him three to four days to get there. He e-mailed me asking for help and I thought I need to go.
“I will fly to Kathmandu, then I will work with the Nepal Red Cross Society. I hope I will meet my friend there.” he added.
Officials estimate up to one-third of Kathmandu’s 2.5 million residents have left their homes since the quake and Kathmandu
Police say nearly 900,000 have left in the last ten days alone.
Droves of panicking locals jammed bus stations in desperate attempts to reach their relatives in devastated villages.
The United Nations estimates eight million people have been affected by the earthquake and 2.8 million people have been displaced by it.
Visit www.dec.org.uk/nepal for more information on the appeal to help victims of the earthquake.