Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Tattoo artist sees terror of earthquake

A TATTOO artist has told of the terror of being caught up in the earthquake which

A TATTOO artist has told of the terror of being caught up in the earthquake which killed more than 7,000 people in Nepal.

Glenn Cuzen, 33, of Western Avenue, Henley, was in the country for a tattoo convention last week and was in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square just hours before it was struck by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

Mr Cuzen posted a video of the devastation on his Facebook page along with messages to let his family and friends know he was unhurt.

The video shows rubble in the busy square, where Mr Cuzen had stopped for a coffee moments before the earthquake hit. A second video shows the same scene an hour before the quake.

“It was a scene of devastation,” he said. “It was like Kathmandu had been all but wiped off the map.”



Mr Cuzen was at the convention at the Yak and Yeti Hotel when the earthquake struck and says it felt like being on a sinking ship.

He said: “Chandeliers were falling from the ceiling and people were jumping out of the windows. One of the event co-ordinators broke his back jumping from the second storey. You don’t expect a building to drop 20ft — it was like being on the Titanic.”

Mr Cuzen was staying in the hotel, one of the buildings that didn’t collapse, and realised how lucky he was when he went outside and saw the devastation.

He said: “It was just unreal. When we went outside there was carnage everywhere. People didn’t want to go back inside. There was pure terror.

“We were very lucky as the hotel we were staying in was the safest building there. Everywhere else had  collapsed. People were scared to walk near buildings and they were all in the middle of the road.

“Every open space was full of tents and there were big queues of people waiting for water and food.”

Mr Cuzen says dozens of people messaged him and called the hotel to make sure he was safe.

He flew back to Heathrow airport on Wednesday last week. He said: “Any knock on the plane on the way home makes you worried and when I was in a taxi from Heathrow back home I was telling the driver to slow down. It makes you think ‘I’ve just survived an earthquake’.”

l The Oxfam stores in Market Place and Duke Street are appealing for cash donations for the charity’s emergency response to the earthquake.

Manager Mai Lee Burgess said: “We have seen the terrible images and we all want to help. Donating in the shop is easy and will make a real difference to Oxfam’s emergency work.”

The stores are open daily. Donations can also be made online at www.oxfam.org.uk, by phone on 0300 200 1999 or by texting EMERGENCY to 70066 to donate £5.



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