Often we find articles reading “Nabbey saal ko Bhukampaa”(Earthquake of 1990B.S, 16janurary 1934 A.D)of magnitude 8.3 Richter scale that was said to have left the most devastating effect in Natural disaster history of Nepal. Often we looked at our grandparents with awe thinking on our head what they must have seen, what they must have felt and what they had to overcome to be the survivors.
But here we are today recalling that dreadfull day of fearfulness ourselves 2072/1/12 (25th april,2015A.D) of magnitude 7.8 Richter scale. Considered the second most disastrous earthquake to hit Nepal after Nepal-Bihar earthquake of 1934A.D it took many lives, many left homeless and many left with vivid memories of death and narrow escape. It was a set back. Placed among the poorest countries with ongoing political unstability struck with natural disaster left us paralyzed for a moment with fear not just of death, epidemics but hunger and economic breakdown. The uncertainity of another earthquake or the aftershocks hitting us again left us in dilemma whether life will be normal for us again. The fallen Darhara and the destroyed heritages gave us constant reminders of what we had lost but some losses were unseen. Helplessness was exploited. News of girls being trafficked, sexually abused, raped and murdered appeared on headlines of some newspapers. Robbery and illegal activities left no place.
But not everything was lost.
Together with my friends as a medical team we volunteered for medical camps in many affected places. The most memorable however was the after shock of May12/2015. Initially reported as magnitude of 7.3 and later confirmed of 6.8 magnitude by National Seismological centre its epicenter was said to be between Sindhupalchwok and Dolakha.
We were travelling inside the bus when it hit us on a place called zerokilo with our destination set to Dolakha, Thulogaun. Inside the moving bus unaware of the shock we would have fallen into hands of illfaith had it not been for Ghising dai’one of our team member who noticed dusts arising from just collapsed houses and people running to open grounds for safety. We stopped till the major shock halted. After confirming our family members back at Kathmandu were safe we moved along. The deep fissures on roads, dry landslides from hills made it difficult to travel. We were only able make it till Sunkhani and sundrawati for medical camp as the road further was completely blocked by landslide. Sinkuti a village in Dolakha beyond the blockage outside from our reach was rumored to have almost nil survivors.
Though we were 1st team to reach the epicenter no major casualties were present. It gave us relief to find that the severly injured were immediately evacuated through helicopter. We saw many patients young to old, especially those with cut injures inflicted while escaping the collapsing houses and many more with complains of nausea headache and fear of death.
The locals helped us make tents and arrange necessities for food during 3days of our nightstay’ trying their best to create a hostile environment. However aftershocks that sounded like bombs being dropped and the violent shakes following it, gave us constant threats.
It still makes me wonder how did we manage to set a camp on that condition with mind that is both hesitant and willing. Be it JVF a community based hospital foundation from rural area of Nepal, focused solely on development of jumlabhang, Be it GPAN association of pharmacists or the individual faces behind the masks of …..dai the driver who courged to take the risks of driving through unhostile roads, , Bishnu dai whose humors kept us going, Dorje dai The chef of the trip and Ghising dai, Rhythm lama, jay Bhai, smita sister all of us came up together to make this camp a success.
I will also remember AAIP() a French organization that had come with us to volunteer. And my friend Dr Ganesh Bhusal’s words “While everyone were running away from country they have come to help us” on their praise.
Also noteworthy to remember was the way how the youths from every corners of the Nepal mobilized themselves with every little resources they have while the government laid back confused and undecisive about their next moves.
Like I said earlier not everything was lost. The disaster took many but it awakened in us a feeling that had long been on slumber, a feeling that united us as Nepalese forcing us to break our walls of religion, caste and all other segregations, a feeling called patriotism. The disaster also united us as Humans forcing us to break the limit of our countries boundry. It brought us close to thousands of faces behind the masks sending us aids and good wills, faces that we will never know of and that we have been indebted to.
that we have been indebted to.