Ukraine woman yearns for whereabouts of her dad, missing relatives

SHARDIKHOLA, May 6: When she landed in Pokhara to see her family a week ago, Maria, 23, had little inkling of the tragedy awaiting her. But the Saturday´s flashflood at Shardikhola has left her in deep sorrow. Her father Dubinskiy Oleksandr, uncle Malakhov Ivan and aunt Polonchuk Alla had received her only a week ago and the family had toured around the city together. [break] Quite fascinated by Shardikhola when they had gone there 5 days ago, they decided to visit the river again on Saturday. “We had just got off the bus and walked a few meters when we heard some women shouting,” said Dinesh Tandon, the son of the owner of the guesthouse where the Ukranians were staying. “Lost in the beauty of the place, we could hardly make out what they were saying. That none of us understood Nepali language didn´t help much,” he added. When the flood struck all of a sudden, Maria and Dinesh managed to drag themselves to safety. Dubinskiy, Malakhov and Polonchuk, however, were swept away by the flood. Maria watched her elders being carried away by the muddy water right before her eyes. Her plight is worsened by the fact that the search and rescue teams have not been able to locate her family members. Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN) had carried out search Sunday morning. Though TAAN used helicopter at Maria´s request, no trace of the Ukranians have been found so far. “I have no hopes of seeing them alive. But I wish at least their dead bodies could be located,” said Maria. Maria even made a personal request with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to help her find her relatives when he visited the affected area on Sunday.