A powerful earthquake jolted the Himalayan country and sent tremors through Northern India on Saturday, triggering a devastating avalanche on Mt. Everest.
The rush of ice rubble swept through the base camp where the climbers were getting ready for their ascent to the world’s highest peak. The worst earthquake in 81 years has brought the entire nation to its knees killing over 2500 people, with the toll expected to mount further. Nepal, a country harboring 28 million people, was shaken when an earthquake of 7.9 magnitude hit her with full force. To make it worse, the Earth’s wrath is still on the rise as there have been 33 aftershocks in last 24 hours that hampered relief efforts and raised fears of humanitarian disaster.
The epicentre of the first earthquake was 34 km south east of Lamjumg, 77 km northwest of Kathmandu and, according to the Medieval Pulse, the frontal thrust in central Himalayas may have remained seismically inactive during the last 700 years which means that the strain accumulated in the crust has released causing the earthquake.
So what can we do if we feel an earthquake again?
1. Drop down onto your hands and knees and cover your head and neck.
2. If you are inside, stay inside and in case you are outside, it is advisable to stay out.
3. Get under a sturdy table or desk. Don’t assume that when a building collapses, it will always crush the furniture inside. People do survive under a furniture.
4. Do not stand in the doorway.
5. Do not use the elevators.
6. If you are in a car, stop it and stay inside till the shaking stops.
What do do after an earthquake?
1. Check yourself and others for injuries and help in any way possible.
2. Check water, gas and electric lines for damage.
3. Be careful of the falling buildings and chimneys while you are attempting to assist others.
4. Expect aftershocks.
How can we help Nepal from the other side of the world?
Pray. I know this sounds insane but the combined effect of prayers and wishes makes a huge effect. We are humans and it is our duty to help those in need. Donate to the trustworthy organizations—every penny you send matters because even a glass of water is being sold here for the price which was initially five times lower. We need you and your support.
How can we get in touch with our friends from Nepal?
Here is a list of helpline numbers that you can share with your friends and family to get any news about your close ones in the affected area:
Indian embassy in Nepal: 00977-9851107021
Police control: 100
Metropolitan Police in Kathmandu: +977-4261945/4261790
Metropolitan Police in Lalitpur: +977-5521207
Lalitpur Red Cross Ambulance: +977-5545666
Red Cross Ambulance service: +977-4228094
Consulate of Canada in Kathmandu: +977-4441976
In case you require any other information or assistance please feel free to contact me on my email.
The people in Nepal have lost their family and friends, seen their homes crumble to the ground and have faced irreparable damage. We might not be able to help them by being physically present but we can reach out to them with our thoughts, prayers and, most of all, donations.
Let our prayers and thoughts heal us all. Don’t consider them to be futile because in times like these, good intentions and healing words are all that we have to offer, especially if you cannot reach the victims in person.
It is time to fulfil our role as a human. Be aware and spread awareness. It is time to act now.
Author: Vishakha Shukla
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Wikimedia Commons