The scary thing (or good, depending upon how you see things) is that the epicenter of the 6.8 earthquake that rocked Kathmandu and eastern Nepal this evening was, according to the US Geological Survey, 272 kilometers away (east) from Kathmandu. (68 km north west of Gangtok, Sikkim, India). It was so terrifying. (Personally speaking, the Quake Moment was the most scariest I have experienced in a looong time.) Imagine the situation if Kathmandu WERE the epicenter! [Three people have died in Kathmandu, and two in Dharan, after the British Embassy compound wall collapsed. Many people have injured themselves as they tried to ran out of buildings.]
I could have run out of the building but I didn’t. I had a strange faith with the building and was pretty much confident that that it would not go down. And I decided to remain there throughout. I grabbed one of the pillars that supported the building. I was hoping that the tremor wouldn’t last very long as it did (or at least felt like it did). When a building is trembling and you are thinking about your life and the closest person in your life who is living far away you feel like the tremor, even if it is a brief one, becomes an eternity.
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!
[Correction: I was in the 3rd floor of my office- not the 4th as I mentioned in my tweet. I have recently shifted my cubicle to the 3rd from the 4th. That fact had completely gone out of my mind in the aftermath of the shock].
Here are my tweets (beginning from the oldest one):
People are telling many interesting stories, as they always do, of where were they and what were they doing during the tremor. I find Suresh Niraula’s, my colleague at Kantipurdaily, experience the most interesting. He said:
I was riding my bike to my office. The bike started trembling. I thought the tire got flattened. I stopped the bike and checked the tires. They were okay. I moved on. But the bike continued to tremble and almost went out of my control. Luckily a bike servicing center was nearby. I took the bike there. After hearing my story the boy there said: IT WAS EARTHQUAKE, DID YOU NOT NOTICE?