Friday, May 15, 2015

My Experience of Devastating Earthquake

It was on 25th April 2015. I had to buy some school uniform requirements for my Son. School was expected to start from May 27th. I was in Mangal Bazar (Patan Durbar square) with my wife, 7 year son and 2 and a half year daughter. We bought white and black shoes and other items in Magal Bazar. We were walking towards Lagankhel from Mangal Bazar. This path has very old houses constructed from mud bricks and mud. At about 11:55 am suddenly the earth started to shake. We quickly ran near the open space over there which was the center of cross road. The intensity of the shake grew up. One man who was in his motor cycle was hit by bricks. The motor cycle fell down in the road and the man wake up and ran from there. I think because of the helmet he was wearing he was lucky and he survived. He may have hurts in his body. I saw very old buildings moving like a swing. The house just in front of us was moving here and there and I thought it would fall and the debris come near us but except some cracks nothing happened to that house. I also saw dust coming from one side. I saw that side and found rubble coming in the road from a falling house. I couldn’t see the falling house because it was hidden by another house.

The intensity of the earthquake was so large that I could not balance myself. My son was crying and my wife was praying saying God save us. But my innocent daughter was amazed with all the things going on at that time. Peoples were screaming. Some are telling others to be safe. Some females were crying. I also saw a women with a small child in her lap. Initially the tremor was small but I felt increasing very intensity then again it slowed down and again increased heavily. I felt the increasing and slowing of the tremor for three times. As it slowed down for the final time I felt I was in a boat moving side by side. The earthquake remained for about a minute. After the quack stopped I tried to call my brother-in-law which was in home when we were out. The network was not working. I tried to call some more numbers and none of the numbers were working. At that same time I got a call from elder brother-in-law from Pokhara. I told him that we are ok but could not contact brother.

After the quake stopped I was thinking to go to my home in Nakhipot very quickly. I was thinking what had happened to my house. I had built the house will all my earnings and selling my parental properties. I am still paying my loans for that house. Then we walked towards Lagankhel where I had parked my motor cycle. When we were about to reach Langnkhel we again felt another tremor of high intensity. This time we were at least at the middle of the road and houses are little far apart. We stayed there at the middle of the road for a moment. This time the shaking was not as big as it was of the first time but was strong. Then I started my motor cycle and we moved towards our house. On the road we saw many compound walls had fallen down. Because of my mind thinking to quickly reach my house I could not notice more things.

When we reached Milan chowk, place which is very near to my house, I realized that my motor cycle was losing balance. Then I stepped my leg and held my motorcycle. I asked my wife and children to ride off from the motorcycle. We waited there until the tremor stopped. After the quack stopped we moved from there quickly. When we reached our house then my friend/neighbor Sharad and his family were staying in open place near house. I stopped my motor cycle and stayed there with him. Just after I stopped my motor cycle and stayed there a big quack again started. The land started shaking and we heard some unusual sound. The land was shaking like a boat in water. We stayed there for some time but the land was moving again and again because of many aftershocks. During that time I tried to call to different persons and could not connect to them. At first I called my Mother in my village and could not connect. I called my sister's house and knew that they were safe in Pokhara. Later my mother called from a CDMA number from my cusions house. There was not problem in my old house build by my father and no casuty in my family and relatives.

After an hour of staying there I went to a point near my house from where we can see Bhainse pati. It is a new housing area with many new houses. But it is also a place with many old houses made of brick and mud. I saw two houses converted to rubble. People were trying to remove the debris form those houses. Later I heard that two man died in that Incident. In the radio we heard that Dharara had fallen down but the casualty was not known at that time. After that I thought that shocks will not come and entered my house and observed every corner of the house if any cracks were there. I did not find any cracks but some items were fallen in the ground. Later found that the concrete of my parking area inside the gate was little gone down and little crack in the place where this area was connected to the building. I was relieved at that moment.

Many aftershocks came that day so my wife and children didn’t want to sleep in house that day. We slept in a nearby hut constructed by GI sheets. That day we felt a lot of shocks in the night. News came in radio giving the number of casualty. The electricity lines had stopped providing the electricity but Nepal telecom’s telephone was working even though we had to dial for a lot of times. My world link’s Internet connection was working even after the earthquake. Saw a lot of devastating photos in online media and social media. Listening the news of the devastating quake and looking at pictures of fallen houses and dying people I could not hold my mind. The death toll reached more than 8000 lives and 200 thousand houses were damaged. Many old monuments, temples, palaces of kings, historical monuments were turned to dust. Because of the RCC structure many residential buildings in town were not damaged except few cracks but in the villages there is nothing in the effected zone. But the house constructed with bricks and mud were turned down to rubbles. It was a great loss for Nepali people and the reconstruction will take huge amount of many and time.

Next day we were staying in the same hut at the day time. At about 12:55 pm suddenly very big earthquake shake the ground. We were so frightened. The house in front of us was shaking in a to and fro motion. After that day may aftershocks occurred. On 12th may at about 12:50 pm the earth was shivering again. I was in my office and suddenly my chair started to shake. Then I with some other people who were in my office moved to the open space before my building. After that big after shock many other smaller shocks were shacking the ground again and again.