Nepal earthquake: The stories behind five images from ruins around Kathmandu

Latest figures suggest that as many as 5,000 people have been killed as international aid just starts to reach remote corners of the devastated country

Rose Troup Buchanan
Wednesday 29 April 2015 10:12

Photographer Omar Havana was living and working in Nepal when the 7.8 earthquake struck. In the following images he talks about the country and the people suffering under the worse quake in more than 80 years.

Warning: Some viewers may find the following images distressing

Man alone in a camp

I wanted a new perspective. There is so much destruction around. This photo was taken among one of the camps in the shelters the local people are setting up. It is about the loneliness of people.

Is he alone? Is what I was thinking as I took the photo. There was no one around him and that park is full of families and people and he was all alone. I wanted people to guess what was going on in the mind of this person.

Something that in the park that is beautiful is the sense of families. That is helping people get over this.

Daughter and mother

The situation that really impacted me was of a mother and the daughter was just crying and I had to leave the place afterwards. The daughter was crying ‘mama mama’ over and over again and I had to leave.

We use the camera as a shelter to protect us but in this situation there is nothing we can use. It is not the best photograph, but it is the one that has impacted me the most.

Mother and child

I always try to take the more positive photographs. I like the photos of people getting together and for everyone in this country it is a half glass of water for other people. I want people to see that as well.

These are people who lost their homes and they were in the camps. They were just loving each other. On the other side I was just thinking how many families had lost their loved ones. All the time I was there the baby was in her arms and the love of the mother was always the strongest feeling.

She never put the baby down, all the time I was there, the baby was always in her arms.

A victim of the quake

That was in Bhkatapur, one of the most beautiful cities that I have seen in my life. Outside the hospital there were so many bodies around. There was a man laying there and there was no one around. Maybe I thought they had lost the family, I don’t know, but as soon as I saw him alone I thought of all the other families.

They burn the bodies … but one of the things I discovered today is that they are running out of wood. There was just a body there with no-one around. It was alone.

Temple ruins

I wanted to go to that place because it was a very special place. My colleagues in AP and AFP and everywhere as soon as they see those temples down they start to cry … Everyone is focussing on there. There were so many people there - so many locals and tourists were gathering there. The rubble is still there and it will take ten days, maybe more, to dig there.

I was in the mountain of debris today and the smell of dead bodies is every strong. It is coming from everywhere among the stones. There are so many people.

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