Editorial: Nepali student comments on earthquake, aftermath

Rajeev Shrestha

Editor’s note – Rajeev Shrestha, a Washburn student from Kathmandu City, contacted the Review staff and asked his he could offer his perspective on the tragedy that struck his homeland last Saturday. We ask that you please take a few moments to read his thought.

As the earthquake hit Nepal April 25, I was sleeping easily in my apartment. I began searching the Internet for how big the earthquake was and how badly it hit the nation. The 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on Saturday, killing more than 5,000 people, and majorly devastating Kathmandu City, my hometown. I tried my best to call my family as soon as possible. Family was my biggest concern. Thankfully, all of them are safe. The vibrant capital of Nepal has been turned into an entirely different city. On the news there were conditions of severe panic and fearful situations in the city. Later, I was amazed to see the videos and photos being uploaded on different news webpages and social medias.

Due to inequality of wealth and the caste system, there’s a wide range of home conditions inside the valley. People from all over Nepal had settled in the capital city because of the favorable weather, advanced facilities and luxuries. The government doesn’t have real statistics about the number of people settling the city. Those homeowners who built their homes for a situation like this managed to buy some time to escape into the safe open areas. Those who couldn’t afford such precautions may have lost their lives. Certainly, the situation varies. The earthquake occurred on Saturday afternoon 11:41 a.m. Kathmandu local time. Fortunately, because people weren’t indoors. Most of the businesses, offices, banks and schools are closed on Saturday. Many local people go to scenic areas of the Kathmandu Valley for sightseeing, recreation and entertainment. Which is a nice retreat from the polluted city. The city offers many short distant sightseeing destinations and natural spots.

There are short and long-term measures needed for taking care of the affected people. The effort to help hundreds of people who are possibly buried alive must be expedited as much as possible. Temporary shelter, food, water and medical aid are vitally needed for injured victims.

Thousands of people lost their lives and dead bodies still need to be taken care of. The government had no real plan for such a catastrophe. However, the local people are banding together to help one another. Impressively, police officials and army soldiers serving our nation acted immediately. The help is still on going. On the other side, there are numerous small villages far away from the valley that were destroyed. Many locals are still waiting for help to arrive. Many people have run out of food stockpiles. Villagers haven’t seen any major assistance for acquiring shelter, food and water resources. Their hopes are still crumbled by the harsh condition of living. There’s a great concern for financial development.

International and local journalists are keeping the world informed about this tragic earthquake. That’s the way I found out about the earthquake. The have contributed the beautiful pictures from my country that have been shown to the world. Nations around the world have already started to give funding and relief materials to our country, which will make a huge difference rebuilding the nation. USA, Canada, Germany, Japan, China, India, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, Norway, Singapore, Indonesia and many others countries have been helping our nation in various ways.

It is an absolute pleasure to see all the Nepalese outside the country working together and extending their hands to help millions of people, thousands of miles away. The strong message for all the Nepalese right now is to continue helping each other and rebuilding the nation in an even more sophisticated and sustainable way. We need a vision to develop and prepare for this type of situation in more effective manner.