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Saturday 3 December 2016

Mother's relief as backpacker Darine (22) calls after tense wait

Published 30/04/2015 | 02:30

Darine Flanagan (22) from Galway who survived the earthquake in Nepal
Darine Flanagan (22) from Galway who survived the earthquake in Nepal
Phama Basnet who house was destroyed in the Nepal earthquake in the Gorkha district. Photo: Mark Condren
Paul Greenan who is on his way on his way back to Ireland from Nepal. Photo: Mark Condren
A Family makes its way by bus out of Kathmandu, Nepal after the earthquake. Photo: Mark Condren
Crowds of people at a bus stop trying to make their way out of Kathmandu, Nepal after the earthquake. Photo: Mark Condren
A woman brings food back to her family after house was destroyed in the Nepal earthquake in the Gorkha district. Photo: Mark Condren
A girl caries her friend after the Nepal earthquake in the Gorkha district. Photo: Mark Condren
A young man takes a brake while his brother takes over from clearing rubble from their family home after it was destroyed in the Nepal earthquake in the Gorkha district. Photo: Mark Condren

A young Irishwoman caught up in the earthquake while attending a festival is to leave Nepal today.

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Darine Flanagan will return to India with some friends as she continues her backpacking trip.

The 22-year-old Galway woman had travelled to Nepal to attend a music festival when the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck at the weekend.

The Gort native has been journeying in India since she completed her degree in psychology.

Last night she told the Irish Independent that she was finally able to make contact with her mother on Monday, and that she plans to travel to Varanasi in northern India today.

"I heard the roads are bad and I am near the airport. I am good. I need a shower, but I'm happy out," the young woman said last night.

Her mother Ger said the family were "demented" when they heard the news of the disaster, as they "couldn't get in touch with her". Darine finally managed to make a call to her mother yesterday morning at 10.30am.

"She could only stay on the phone for under a minute. They had been outside Kathmandu. I don't know if there was much damage done where she was, but I'm just so relieved she's OK," she added.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs last night said that there were four Irish citizens in the region who had yet to make contact.

"Some of these people may be in remote areas where communications would be sporadic at the best of times. There are no suggestions at this stage of any Irish fatalities," a spokesperson added. The department said it believed there was about 150 Irish citizens in Nepal when the earthquake struck.

Paul Greenan (38) was flown to Azerbaijan yesterday where he was due to board an Irish plane.

The Irishman suffered extensive injuries when he got caught up in the avalanche which swept through the base camp at Mount Everest.

Meanwhile, the family of Thomas Drumm (55) from Co Monaghan also confirmed that he had made contact and said they were "overjoyed" to hear from him.

Caroline Crawford and Emma Jane Hade

Irish Independent

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