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Nepal: Bloggers Share Their Own Stories of Earthquake

On the Sunday evening of September 18, 2011, Nepal experienced a strong earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale. With an epicentre in the border region of Taplejung of Nepal and Sikkim of India, it affected Kathmandu, Pokhara, Dharan and other parts of Nepal. Some of the country's bloggers have shared their own stories, news and live events following the quake.

The Home Ministry in Nepal has reported 9 deaths and 24 serious injuries in the country at the time of writing. Three people were killed when the wall of the British Embassy in Nepal fell over them; the Embassy has released a press statement regretting the deaths and saying the embassy will continue to do everything possible to help the local community and Nepal. More than 150 houses were damaged all over the country.

People stand next to a collapsed wall, following the powerful earthquake which rattled Nepal. Image by Gagan Thapa, copyright Demotix (18/09/2011).

People stand next to a collapsed wall, following the powerful earthquake which rattled Nepal. Image by Gagan Thapa, copyright Demotix (18/09/2011).

Bloggers – some on the roads, some from their work places and some from home – wrote about their experiences (first-hand in most cases) on their blogs. Social media sites were alive with tweets and Facebook posts on the topic. Nepali Twitter users reported damages and injuries from several places. Phone lines were interrupted due to high call traffic.

Anil P. Ghimire [ne] from AakarPost shares his first experience while on roads of the earthquake in Kathmandu:

सम्भवत पहिलोपटक भुँइचालो को आभास गर्दै थियौँ । सडक को बिचमा उभिएको हुँदा यता र उता कुद्नुपर्ने कुनै जरुरी थिएन । याद आयो अरु केही नभएपनि ट्विट गरिहाल्नुपर्छ । मोवाइलमा ब्राउजर मा ट्विटर नै खुलिरहेको थियो, हतार हतार भुकम्प आएको कुरा ट्विट गरियो, आफू मुनि को जमिन हल्लिनै रहेजस्तो लागिरहेथ्यो । तर त्यो ट्विट प्रकाशित हुन सकेन, जिपीआरएस चलेन।

Possibly, this was the first time we were experiencing the earthquake. As we stood in middle of the road, it wasn’t necessary for us to run somewhere. Soon I remembered, I need to tweet if not anything. I hastily tried tweeting about the earthquake that I was experiencing from twitter on my phone’s browser. The ground was trembling but the tweet couldn’t be published as GPRS was no more available.

Initially the earthquake was reported to be of more than magnitude 6 with its epicenter in Sikkim, India and Kathmandu was reported to be 72 kilometers away (east) from the epicenter. It took more than half an hour to have reports on life injuries as phone services were interrupted due to the high number of calls.

Salokya from Mysansar [ne] shared his experience and facts based on initial reports of the incident:

म बसेको ठाउँमा केही समय हल्लिएर मानिसहरु सडकमा निस्किएका थिए। कम्प्युटर चलाइरहेको म पनि हतारहतार लुगा लगाएर तल झर्दासम्म भूकम्प जारी थियो। हल्लँदै गर्दा मोबाइल बिर्सेर फेरि मोबाइल लिएर सडकमा आउँदा धेरै मानिस बाहिर आइसकेका थिए। श्रीमतीले पनि भूकम्प हुँदै गर्दा फोन गरेर- म त मर्न लागेँ कि क्या हो, यही अन्तिम फोन होला भनेर गरेको भनिन्।

Some people had already escaped from the place I was after trembling for some time. The earthquake was still there when I managed to leave the computer I was using and escape with some clothes on. I returned again to grab my phone and came back to streets to join several others that had escaped from their buildings. My wife rang me then to express her fears of dying and mentioned if this was her last call.
People in Kathmandu rush into the open space of New Road after an earthquake jolted the city. Image by Sunil Sharma, copyright Demotix (18/09/2011).

People in Kathmandu rush into the open space of New Road after an earthquake jolted the city. Image by Sunil Sharma, copyright Demotix (18/09/2011).

Another Nepali Blogger Dinesh Wagle on his journal shares his experience of the earthquake while at work place:

As I was ducking under a table on the 3rd floor of my 6-storey office building, the images humanitarian catastrophe of Haiti earthquake (and those in Pakistan and China) came to my mind. And I also thought about major neighborhoods of Kathmandu- especially Ason area. I thought of making a call to her, tried in fact, AND even posting a tweet as I was experiencing the tremor!

Under the title ‘sikkim quakes and we quiver‘ another blogger Nepali Keti writes:

but, first a bit on today’s event: an earthquake that hit sikkim and sent spine-chilling ripples right to the apple of nepal’s eye (that’d be kathmandu) is something i am little prepared to blog about because i know so little about natural disasters. but, as with every kathmanduite i too have my story.

The Nepal Government has announced a provision of Rs 25,000 immediately to the families of the earthquake victims. Nepal remains an earthquake prone country and the unmanaged urbanisation and lack of proper preparation for calamities like earthquake pose a severe threat to lives and properties in the country.

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