A SHAKEN-UP climber, who arrived home this morning after surviving the devastating earthquake in Nepal, has told of her guilt of leaving the country.
Zara Cochrane, of Sea Lane, Rustington, was one of 120 British nationals, who had been left stranded in the devastated country, to final be flown back to the UK.
She arrived at Stansted Airport earlier this morning (Thursday, April 30).
Speaking to this paper today, the former Angmering School student said: “I feel quite guilty about leaving to come to my home knowing that there’s a lot of people in Nepal left without one. But I was relieved.”
The 25-year-old had been on a two-month adventure in Asia and was meant to be climbing Mount Everest at the time of the quake.
However, she was delayed from tackling the trek when thieves stole her passport in Cambodia just days before.
“I think having my passport stolen, potentially, saved my life,” she added.
Zara arrived home with her boyfriend, Lawrence Fifield, of Southbourne, near Chichester, and friend Jonathan Burningham, of Selsey.
The trio had been forced to flee to a refugee camp after the 7.9 magnitude quake struck on Saturday.
After spending several days in the camp, alongside more than 10,000 other people affected by the natural disaster, Zara and her friends were chartered on the Department for International Development (DfID) chartered Boeing 767 which had flown out to Nepal on Sunday to offer vital aid.
Among those making the return voyage home included children and the elderly, as well as people chosen as a priority due to health conditions.
The flight comes after Foreign Sectary Philip Hammond confirmed the death of one non resident British national.
The victim had a dual nationality and was a resident of Hong Kong.
So far some 5,500 people have been killed by the quake, which flattened buildings and levelled communities.
About 300 Britons have been housed in the British embassy in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu.