The situation in Nepal went from bad to worse earlier today when the country was hit by yet another powerful earthquake which rattled already fragile buildings and claimed even more lives. This comes on the heels of devastating April 25 quake which leveled entire villages and has claimed the lives of more than 8000 people.
According to reports, the 7.3-mangnitude quake that hit this morning had an epicenter that was located near the border with Tibet, not far from Everest Base Camp. It took place at a depth of about 11 miles, which is deeper than the previous one, which helped to alleviate damage on the surface. It still managed to incite panic amongst the Nepali people who are still reeling from the events from two weeks ago. Many streamed out into the streets to avoid collapsing buildings. Not all made it to safety however, as it is reported that at least 36 more people have lost their lives as a result of this latest disaster.
Shockwaves from today’s tremor were felt as far away as Delhi, India, and there are reports of more buildings collapsing across Nepal, although they are mostly believed to have been structures that had already suffered damage. Ongoing aftershocks were also continuing to roll across the country as well, indicating that the ordeal may not be completely over just yet.
Meanwhile, climber/adventurer Adrian Hayes is on the ground in Nepal, and has been making his way to remote villages throughout the Himalaya over the past few weeks. His reports from the field are sad to read, as he has come across numerous villages that have been almost completely destroyed by the quake. Adrian tells ABC news in Australia that the residents of those villages don’t expect to receive any help for years, and feel like they are now cut-off from the outside world.
Adrian says that he is the first outsider to reach some of these communities since the disaster struck, and many of the people living there have a sense of helplessness about them. The situation in Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu is bad, but at least relief aid is arriving there. In these remote mountain villages the task of delivering that aid become much more difficult. The country is still attempting to come to grips with the logistics needed to assist those in need, while it also continues to survey the damage too. Part of the problem is a lack of helicopters that can actually help deliver food, water, and other emergency supplies. More helicopters are expected to arrive in Nepal over the next few weeks, but until than many people will continue to suffer.
It is a sad state of affairs in Nepal at the moment, and the people living there aren’t the only ones who feel helpless. Many in the outdoor and adventure travel community have similar feelings at the moment as they seek ways to do more. Despite providing a great deal of relief funds and supplies, the task of delivering that aid in a timely and efficient manner seems like an insurmountable task. While relief workers struggle to sort out that challenge, Nepal’s people are forced to endure more hardship.
As I’ve said before, the road to recovery is going to be a long and difficult one. The process can’t even truly begin as long as the earthquakes continue. Hopefully some stability will descend on the country soon. The people there are more than ready to begin putting this disaster behind them.
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