The earth shook under the feet of eight million people on Saturday, the 25 th of April. To the vast majority of those affected the earth's rage is as incomprehensible as it was before science, before Newton and before plate tectonics. One of the poorest countries in this part of the world, trying as it was to stand on its own feet after years of turmoil, has suddenly been hit by a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. With five thousand dead and six thousand five hundred injured, and still counting, the prime minister of Nepal has anticipated a death toll crossing the ten thousand mark.
An estimated 1.4 million require food supplies. Kathmandu, the capital city is still in a state of shock. Thousands are still camping out in the open, scared to return to their homes as aftershocks continue to be felt. Worst hit are the old, wooden and brick houses of the poor and the middle class. Food and water is scarce. The hospitals are overburdened and severely short of manpower and resources. Power supplies are down in vast sections. Almost 300,000 have left the city already, heading towards their homes in less affected parts.
The administration has still not established contact with a large part of the rural belt. Village after village reduced to rubble. Village after village lies waiting in the darkness cut off from the rest of the world, waiting for aid. All the directive they have is that there is no plan, aid is coming and they must wait.
Aid has started to flow in from different parts of the world with flights arriving almost every minute at Kathmandu airport. Caught unawares however, the administration has no operative plan in place on how to distribute the aid quickly and save as many lives as possible. Discontent is fast spreading and chaos will soon follow if the relief operations are not sped up.
Tourists are being pulled out to safety in their native lands. An avalanche on Mount Everest has claimed almost 150 lives. The climbers have all descended from the mountains, and it is safe to say that the climbing season is over. The neighbouring countries including India have also been affected by the quake with over 85 dead in North India. Considerable panic has also swept over the northern part of the subcontinent.
There is a worldwide call for donations and volunteers. Students are joining in the collected effort. Collections for the relief funds are being organised in campuses statewide. Right now, all eyes are on Nepal, and its high time that all hands be there too, to stand beside an impoverished people in their gargantuan task to rebuild Nepal.
29 April, 2015