The Event that changed everything in just 30-40 seconds!!! History, Economic Condition and Belief of the people living in Nepal changed when the Country was hit with a disastrous Earthquake of 7.9 Magnitude on April 25th 2015 at 11.56 am local time.
It was not like any other Earthquake that people of Nepal had seen, felt or experienced before. I have experienced several Earthquakes in my life but this was SOMETHING ELSE!!! It will always be one of the most painful, shocking and life changing events for me! I have never witnessed such kind of horror before!
The Disaster That Broke the Country into Pieces
It was a typical Saturday afternoon there, (Saturday is a National weekly off in Nepal) and people were busy lazing around at home, shopping, visiting their relatives as any other Saturday. It was my Kids’ nap time so I came into the room and locked the door, since my son has a habit of opening the door and running away as usual I locked the room and threw the key in the room somewhere. Just after 5 minutes of trying to make them sleep I got a shock of my life! I could feel the ground shaking, fan was shaking violently and the whole house was shaking like crazy! It was shaking like a swing first and then like a roller coaster. I was lying on the floor with my Kids (I had stopped sleeping on the bed because my girl fell from the bed twice) and I can’t even describe the horror. It was so dramatic I had never ever imagined that a house could shake like that. I was so petrified that all I could do was hold my 2 kids and pray. I was not able to even lift my head because it was so intense I kept falling back. Within a few seconds the intensity increased so much I was 100% sure that the house was gonna collapse any second.
One thing I kept saying was the names of my Guardian Angels.Both my Babies (17 months and 38 months) were terrified and started crying holding me tight.I was so helpless because I couldn’t even get up for help. When I felt that the house was gonna collapse I made a prayer thinking that was it. Along with the violent shaking there was a huge thunderstorm kind of sound, rather sounded like a violent roar which was coming from the shaken houses. I didn’t expect to survive so held my kids and cried. Then suddenly the shaking stopped, everything stopped moving and shaking right from the fan to the cupboard to the wall hangings. I held both my kids and ran towards the door only to find that it was locked and I forgot where the key was because I was so scared. I kept crying and searching for the key and finally found it. I opened the door and ran straight to the main door, my domestic help Kumar held my 3 year old and I held my 17 month old and ran barefoot to the open ground in the front.
Spine Chilling Aftershocks
Then the first strong aftershock shook the whole country in less than 10 minutes. Glad we were on the ground but it still felt like the ground would rip apart it was shaking that violently. We could see the houses shake like crazy from outside, we could see walls collapse in front of our eyes. Everyone was petrified, some were crying some collapsed. One of the neighbors jumped off his house and broke both his legs and back. There were kids and babies who got injured while trying to run. It was so painful to watch all those. But the actual horror started when I checked the news on my mobile. I had no time to even wear my slippers but I didn’t realize that my son was holding my cell phone. I knew with this kind of Earthquake there would be a huge loss and it all started with the news update that said 450 death reported that was in the first hour itself. I knew the numbers would rise quickly because what we experienced was nothing short of a doom’s day. We were lucky that our area didn’t get affected much but there were towns and cities in Nepal that got wiped out up to 95% leaving only 2-3 houses. It felt like we were living on a time bomb every second. Things only got worse for us because of stupid rumors that would do rounds on social media. There was a time (I think on the 3rd day) when we got to know that there would be a deadly 9 richter scale Earthquake around 9 pm which will destroy the entire country because it would be 32 times stronger and had a capacity to destroy the country in a few seconds. I was pretty sure if that happened we would have no way to survive. People even went to the extent of saying that it was predicted by NASA and was shown on BBC. Since we had a limited access to internet we had no option but to believe it. Luckily, it was just a rumor! I didn’t even sleep for those 10 days because aftershocks were so frequent there was no way I could sleep.
National monuments of Nepal, pride of the country Dharhara, Nautalle Darbar, Durbar Square and several other ancient bulidings and temples (some of these are listed in the World Heritage Sites) got broken into pieces. Mobile line was dead and no one had guts to enter theirhouse to use their landline or pick up the cordless phones. People were frantically trying to reach their loved ones but noone’s phone was working. After an hour or so NTC (Nepal’s national mobile carrier) started to work but inconsistently. Kumar finally got to talk to his family but started crying because his house was completely collapsed and some of his relatives lost their lives. Then we got to know later that a Grandma of a very close friend of mine got buried alive. Death toll kept increasing by an hour and aftershocks were so violent we had no hope left. We spent the next 10 days in the tent on the open ground. It was summer in Nepal but after the Earthquake the weather changed into cold winter with chilling breeze and continous rain.People started to fall sick because of the cold weather, it was horrible! I kept giving my kids homeopathic remedies(I mustered some guts to go inside for a minute to get my homeopathic kit and some warm clothes for them) to deal with shock, trauma and enhance their immunity because we were basically on road.
2nd Deadly Earthquake on May 12th
Just when people started to feel a little safe another deadly earthquake struck Nepal on May 12th, just 17 days after the first one. Many people lost their lives in this second one too but it was not as bad as the first one though the magnitude was quite high, it was 7.4 Richter scale.
What Nepal needs RIGHT NOW!
We could leave Nepal only on May 4th because we had a tough time getting flight tickets. Those 10 days have been the most scary phase of my life so far. All we could hear was “aayo aayo” (which means “its come” in Nepalese language) and people running haywire to save their lives. Aftershocks were so frequent it crossed 600 plus shocks in just a few days. Death toll kept rising and rising, it was devastating to see such a huge loss created by just a few seconds. Death toll crossed 10000, thousands were severely injured, More than 8 million people were affected by this brutal earthquake. People became homeless in just a few seconds, thousands of miscarriages happened because of the violent Earthquake, thousands of children were left without one or both the parents, thousands of animals and livestock died, there was a risk of infectious disease spreading in the near future because of lack of sanitation.