MURWILLUMBAH woman Amy Schiller watched buildings collapse around her as Nepal's most devastating natural disaster in nearly 80 years hit last Saturday.
The 22-year-old was at a shop in the north-west of Kathmandu when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit, killing more than 5000 people.
It was supposed to be her last day in Kathmandu, but that all changed for Ms Schiller, who was about to travel to India, as the city crumbled before her eyes.
"I got dragged across the road by some guys ... because I fell down," the former Mt St Patrick College student said.
"The building across from us completely came down.
"They were pulling bodies out for a while. It was terrifying."
Her mum, Tracey Schiller, didn't have a chance to worry before receiving a message from her daughter, saying she was safe.
She considered herself "one of the lucky ones", knowing Amy was safe.
Tracey had visited Amy in Nepal in February.
She said the kind-hearted nature of the Nepalese people made the tragedy all the more devastating.
"I think Amy really feels for the Nepalese people," she said.
On Tuesday night, Amy was one of 130 people camped in the grounds of the Australian embassy.
She said while they had enough food and clean water, others weren't so lucky.
"Outside the embassy there's a lot of problems.
"Most of the Nepalese people are sleeping in parks.
"I think shelter's a big one because there's been a lot of rain."
With most of the city's buildings damaged, she said it wasn't safe for locals to return to their homes.
"We're still having aftershocks.
"The embassy building is pretty solid."
She said that during the earthquake it was difficult to process what was happening.
Ms Schiller said she went with a group of people staying at the embassy to give blood at the hospital on Monday, before donating goods to the children's hospital.
"They're only on back-up generators," she said.
"They're running out of food and water."
She said transport was a crucial issue as masses of people tried to get out, and aid tried to get in.
The first flight she could get onto was scheduled to leave today.
Ms Schiller had been living in the UK for six months before visiting Nepal, and will return there before coming home.
Despite the rising death toll, Ms Schiller said there was some relief when aid began to arrive.
"We're all very thankful we have a place to stay. At the same time there's this desperation to get out of here.
"People are very on-edge because we keep having tremors."
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