KATHMANDU: Thirty-one year old Diana Fu was supposed to be flying home from Nepal on Monday night (Apr 27) via an Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) plane, but due to congestion in the Kathmandu airport, the plan did not materialise.
The RSAF’s three C-130 aircraft which were due to transport Singapore Armed Forces and medical personnel and meant to ferry Singaporeans home, have been diverted to India.
Ms Fu and a few others are waiting at the airport for a flight out on Tuesday morning. She told Channel NewsAsia she had just arrived at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport with her cousin when the earthquake struck on Saturday.
Some of the Singaporeans she met, managed to get hotel accommodation, while others were camped at the airport she said.
“I tried to get commercial flights back. But there are delays, flights not landing, so on and so forth.”
Ms Fu said Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) had contacted her cousin, who was travelling with her, on Sunday afternoon. “I am glad that they gathered everyone and provided as much help as possible to us. They kept asking how we were and how they could help,” she said.
SOME REMAIN UNCONTACTABLE
MFA has sent a crisis team to Kathmandu to assist Singaporeans. While it has managed to contact most Singapore citizens in Nepal, some still remain out of reach. One of them is Jannah Suairi who has been uncontactable since the powerful earthquake struck Nepal.
The 25-year-old and her Austrian friend, Florian Manzeitreiter, were scheduled to trek along the Annapurna circuit. Ms Jannah last sent a message to her mother on Apr 20.
Ms Jannah’s mother told Channel NewsAsia she believes her daughter is safe.
“We have actually contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also some people in the rescue community to just help and look out for her. I hope that she will just stay put wherever she is and just send me a message or just call home.”
“Knowing the conditions in Kathmandu or the areas around, I think it’s quite a devastated area, and I think going back to Kathmandu would not be a good idea for her,” she said.
“LIKE A DISASTER MOVIE”: SINGAPOREAN WHO RETURNED HOME
Ms Raihan Ruslan, a yoga instructor who was holidaying in Nepal, returned to Singapore at 11pm on Sunday night. Looking visibly emotional at Changi Airport, she said: “It was like a really bad disaster movie that I wasn’t supposed to be in. I wanted to go for a yoga course and take it easy there.”
Ms Raihan, who is four months pregnant, said things were “uncertain” at Kathmandu’s airport. “We didn’t even know if a flight was going to come in at all … Just a flight out, that’s all we needed.”
Before she managed to board a SilkAir plane bound for Singapore, Ms Raihan and her husband camped outdoors. “We were lucky. We had very friendly trekkers around us who had all the camping equipment, (so) we had thick blankets and things to help us stay outdoors.”
Ms Shasta Kaul was holidaying in Nepal with her mother, Mrs Minakshi Kaul. Prior to securing a flight home, they said the situation at Kathmandu Airport was “chaotic”.
“No information was available. Nobody was calling for the flights. There were no displays on the board,” Mrs Kaul said.