Wednesday, 29 April 2015

When the Earth Shook

When I was about to leave my office, the already shaky chair and the table started shaking quite strangely without being touched, I thought that I was having giddiness until I saw the water in the glass started to move also, that was the time I shouted “Naka naka” and it was followed by others shouting from the adjacent rooms. The quake lasted for around 15 seconds or even more because I had enough time to ascertain whether I was feeling giddy or the earth shaking and when I came to know that it was an earthquake, still the shaking did not stop.

I posted on the Facebook wall, “I thought I was feeling giddy but it was an Earthquake”. At the same time there were many status updates regarding the earthquake. I knew that at the epicenter there would be damages and deaths. After few moments it was known that the epicenter was in Nepal along with the magnitude with which it struck. The lives lost and injured were not known at that point of time. The next day the destruction can be seen in the various news channels.

We would readily say that the destruction was due to earthquake, but if we think properly the earthquake just shook the ground and may be some cracks are formed on the ground other than that there were not much of harm done. The main harm to the lives of the human and loss of property came from the property particularly the buildings which rose high and were old and not earthquake resistant.

It is from the collapsing of man-made structures, which took many lives. We being in the earthquake prone zone, our engineers our builders and our contractors need to think about the lurking shake, of the plate that we are on, and take appropriate measures.

The geography taught us that the plates are supposed to move and it had been moving causing tremors, forming mountains and reshaping the surface of the earth. We are the one who needs to adjust to the inevitable shaking and not the other way round. Getting buried under the rubble of our own constructions is fearful and if the death is not sudden under the rubbles it would be a horrendous way to die a slow death waiting for the rescue team to reach you.

The mound of debris of five storied high would be easier to be dug than the debris of thirty to forty storied high buildings. Government of Bhutan had taken the right decision to spread horizontally rather than vertically owing to the imminent shake. If at all the epicenter happens to be near the town and city, the withstanding power of our infrastructures belonging to both government and private are yet to be seen.

Until such time we pray for the people of Nepal for their sufferings to diminish and get through it as early as possible and rebuild their lives yet again taking lessons from the catastrophe. We also pray for the epicenter to be somewhere else always.