— In two days, Nepal has experienced two strong earthquakes. First occurred on Saturday 11:56 AM local time, was 7.8 in intensity according to the US Geological Survey, had occurred some 80 Kms from Kathmandu, was based in Lamjung and according to some reports, have damaged almost 40% of Nepal. It was felt in the neighbouring countries as well – India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan. In India, it was felt most strongly with Bihar being the most affected. So far, the death toll in India is at 62 – 46 in Bihar, 13 in Uttar Pradesh, 2 in West Bengal and one today in Rajasthan. The quake was felt strongly in many parts of North and East India with reports from as far as Mumbai and Andhra Pradesh. The second one, 6.7 at Richter-Scale with epicentre in Kodari, hit the landlocked nation of 28 million today, hampering the rescue and relief operations.
— So far, in Nepal, the death toll has crossed the figure of 2500. It is expected to be in many thousands as the reports come. Many parts of the country are totally damaged. Entire localities and villages are wiped out. Nepal had seen it previously in 1934, a destruction of this scale with an earthquake of 8.2 had hit Nepal and Bihar killing over 10000. In injured count is over 6000.
— The impoverished nation is not capable of handling the crisis on its own. It needs food material, water and medicines for millions affected. Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala left his Indonesia visit midway to return to Nepal today to personally look after the rescue efforts.
— As predicted by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and other agencies, rains have begun in Nepal, further hampering the rescue, relief and reconnaissance operations. In next 48 hours, heavy to very heavy rains are expected in Nepal.
— There are no definite reports about the death toll at Everest base camp and the way up. So far, around 20 bodies have been recovered. Some reports say 200 are still missing in the area. Injured already count to 60. There are distress calls from the climbers with Tweets and Instagram pictures.
— Tribhuvan Airport of Kathmandu is again closed and all the air-lift operations related to rescue and relief matters have been put on hold.
— Since yesterday, Nepal has seen at least 46 aftershocks and there is no time-frame by which the quakes would stop. Many of these are at least 4 to 5 on the Richter-Scale. More avalanches, landslides and aftershocks are expected.
— People are outside, in the streets, in the tents, desperately needing relief. Survivors need helping hands. There are many for whom a further delay can be fatal but then, rains have come, heavy rains. There are many bodies trapped in the rubble. There are many remote areas where the reconnaissance missions have not reached.
— Rumours are keeping the parallel track alive. Differing toll figures are acceptable at this hour of crisis but what about fake images? Also, a silly rumour-mongering attitude at this time may further create the atmosphere of panic and hamper the efforts of machinery involved in relief work.
— Even if there are standalone villages in some remote areas, they are bound to have people. As the time would pass, we would have more reports from different parts on the extent of damage. Saturday’s quake epicentre Lamjung stands totally destroyed in the massive earthquake.
— India and the international community has come forward to help the devastated Mount Everest nation. India is the forefront of the rescue and relief efforts thrusting the largest contingent of personnel and relief material there. India has employed many of its military and civil aircrafts for rescue, relief and reconnaissance efforts there. The Indian Prime Minister is personally looking after the efforts and a team of senior ministers is to go to Nepal. Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary and IMD officials are holding regular pressers.
NEPAL EARTHQUAKE: UPADTES SO FAR
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/