AN ENGINEER who works in Malmesbury is among those trapped by the colossal earthquake that struck Nepal this weekend.
Keith Eyles had just finished a month-long holiday trekking Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world when the disaster struck.
Keith, who has worked at Alvan Blanch in Malmesbury for more than 10 years, had been in the country for a month and was due back in the UK on Wednesday.
He was visiting his trekking guide's family 500 metres above Arughat Bazar to give them presents when the earthquake hit on Saturday.
He had taken an eight-hour jeep ride to a village in the north-west of the capital, Kathmandu, and then hiked two hours to reach the remote community.
In the two texts Keith has managed to send to his wife Sally Davies from Rodborough, he told her how he and the other 75 villagers were safe but had to sleep outside.
The houses in the village were flattened by the recent earthquake and the community's cattle were all killed by the quake.
Keith also reported that the road to the village has been completely destroyed. With no electricity in the village he told his wife he could be stuck there for weeks.
Sally said: “I’m distraught, I can’t do anything and I don’t know about anything apart from what he can text to me.
“All the news seems to be concentrating on the Everest climbers.”
Staff at Alvan Blanch, the company where Keith works, sent their best wishes to him and Sally and said that if they were stuck in a life or death situation Keith would be the man to be stranded with.
Stories have already reached the office of Keith cutting down bamboo to make temporary shelters and they confirmed that he has now reached Kathmandu.
David Sanderson, a project designer at Alvan Blanch, said that Keith was among the most level-headed people he knew.
He said: “He’s a very resourceful guy. He has been trekking in those sorts of areas of the world and is used to living fairly wild, using ice axes and things like that.
“I know the sorts of things he is up against but it will be 100 times worse than anything I have ever seen.
“We’re all waiting to hear that he’s well and we are thinking about him and his wife.”
The Department for International Development (Difd) has fast tracked aid to the country with £3million going to partners to address immediate needs on the ground with a further £2million donated to The British Red Cross.
More than 4,000 people are now confirmed to have died as a result of the disaster, with authorities saying that the death toll could be as high as 10,000 people.
Authors: Wilts & Glos Standard