Earthquake: Psychology of Fear

When the dogs bark, crows caw and the birds chirp, we look at each other. Our eyes sharing similar look and our thoughts screaming “EARTHQUAKE” until someone actually voices out their thought. We have this ‘Earthquake Theory’ that birds and animals sense natural disasters quicker, so when they start to howl and chirp, our heart beats faster and faster until we hear the earth growling and then shaking like a dog shaking off drops water from its fur. If the earth doesn’t shake, still we have a constant fear of another quake.

So, in the previous blog I’d mentioned that we’d head back home. But we are humans who had been affected by a massive earthquake and we were scared. We were scared of another quake and what we would do if it came during the night. We can run but our grand mum cannot. So, we decided to sleep in the garage. We kept a plastic on its roof so that it doesn’t leak. And then, we slept thinking we were safe. If we’d slept inside the house, probably no one would have had a good night sleep because there was fear of being buried in the house. After the night in the garage, when I woke up, I had this immense pain in my neck because of the congested way we were sleeping.

Our camp at the garage
Our camp at the garage.

The next morning, on Wednesday, 29th April, I set off early in the morning at about 7:30 am to meet the crew of ABC News Australia. After meeting them in their hotel, I set off with them to Bhaktapur in a hired taxi. On our way, we saw the demolished city of Kathmandu, and Bhaktapur. The roads were cracked open, the buildings had collapsed and people were waiting in lines to get bus tickets to leave Kathmandu and go to their affected villages to meet their family. The scenery was horrible and depressing.

When we reached Bhaktapur, we realized that our taxi had a punctured tire but hoped it would be able to drop us back. In Bhaktapur, we saw how the heritages had been completed demolished with the houses of people. Many rescue teams were also there like Chinese rescue team and Turkish rescue team with of course the Nepalese rescue team. The houses of people were destroyed and they were taking out their possessions from the windows with the help of a ladder. Not only humans but even the dogs were shivering and shaking. The entire scene was the most terrifying thing I’d ever seen. People had camped outside in an open space and not staying in their houses either because it was destroyed or they were scared their house would collapse.

After covering stories there, we returned back and met a riot on the way. The people started banging on our taxi window and shouting at us. We had no idea why they were angry but after informing them that we were from media, they finally let us go. That moment was the scariest because I’ve seen in news about the riots and people destroying the vehicles which are very common in Nepal during riots. But my heart started beating in normal pace when they finally let us go.

Though the tire was punctured, we were able to reach the hotel safely. There I got to see how news gets prepared live. It was wonderful experience and I got to learn a lot. Yes, it was a long morning with scary experience but it was worth it. We reached the hotel at around 1 pm and I stayed watching them till 2:30 pm. Later my dad came to pick me up from the hotel at 2:45 pm and then we returned back home. When I reached home, I started having major headaches. I was probably too exhausted not being able to have proper sleep for four days and yes, after watching your city completely destroyed, I think anyone would have had a headache. So I had an aspirin and then again when I woke up somewhere during the afternoon, I had another aspirin and then went back to sleep. I woke up around 7 pm. My head ache was a little better and after having my dinner and chat with my family, I went back to sleep to wake up in the morning. That was the reason I wasn’t able to update my blog yesterday.

Today, we’ve decided to sleep at our house but who knows what will happen during the evening. The quakes have still not stopped and I don’t know how many went by but I felt two quakes in the morning and it was not less than 4 Richter scale. So, if we don’t get any call about more quakes and if we don’t feel further quakes we will spend the night at home or else, garage  it is!

To help Nepalese you can donate to this wonderful organization called Women LEAD where I am a 2014 LEADer and is collecting funds to help the Nepal and earthquake victims. This is what they have to say:

“Our first goal is to address immediate needs identified by our leaders. We’re working to gather water purification tablets, tarps, and meals-ready-to-eat to send to Nepal through our contacts. We’re in contact with teams in country to identify projects for our leaders to begin, such as the provision of shelters and feeding communities. Your donation will help us put our leaders to work as quickly as possible, rebuilding their own communities and supporting their long-term response efforts.”

If you want to donate and learn more about it, here is the link of this amazing organization and its project: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/help-young-women-rebuild-nepal/

Our backup safety plan: shelter under the table
Our backup safety plan: shelter under the table

Demolished cultural heritage at Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

People taking out their possessions through window at Bhaktapur.
People taking out their possessions through window at Bhaktapur.
Demolished houses at Bhaktapur.
Demolished houses at Bhaktapur.
Electric poles gets destroyed at Bhaktapur.
Electric poles gets destroyed at Bhaktapur.
Brick falls off the houses due to earthquake at Bhaktapur.
Brick falls off the houses due to earthquake at Bhaktapur.
The Chinese rescue team ready to help the city of Bhaktapur.
The Chinese rescue team ready to help the city of Bhaktapur.
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