Decades of predictions by seismologists about a ‘big quake’ due to hit Nepal has been proved, sadly and bitterly, with pinpoint accuracy.
It was one of those Saturdays, pretty dull with weak sunshine that seemed to appear over the Kathmandu valley in fits and starts. Most of the local denizens were relaxed at home busy with the normal chores that generally happen on the weekend; one day holiday in a week of seven days in a country that follows the hindu calendar that goes by the Bikram era. Folks were probably preparing delicious dishes that generally are enjoyed on the weekend at home with all the loved ones around. Some were washing clothes and some took this as a chance to wash away the week’s dirt with a sizzling shower. And there were those who thought – well, let’s go wild on the streets with an outing to visit temples and the valleys prime museums. And so be it, it was anyone’s and everyone’s day to simply relax and chill out. And this is when nature decided to turn into a beast of disaster. It was exactly at 11.56am on Saturday 25 April, when the earth in Kathmandu began to shake with an eerie sound that churned the guts of thousands of people in the ancient valley; a massive 7.9 magnitude tremor hit the Kathmandu Valley, centred on Gorkha district, just north of the main highway between Kathmandu and Pokhara. In the initial tremor, and in the aftershocks that followed, whole villages were flattened and avalanches and landslides lashed over climbers and trekkers. More than 1500 deaths were reported in Kathmandu alone and many of Nepal’s most known iconic landmarks were reduced to rubble in seconds…and this was only the beginning to what some said was close to doomsday, the likes of something that would be the first experience of their lives…never to be forgotten.