Nepali Times
A shaken nation

Nearly two weeks after a strong earthquake devasted Sikkim, eastern Nepal, China and Bhutan, the known death toll is approaching 100. The relatively low casualty rate has been attributed to the light population density in the remote regions of all four countries. However, not all the information has come in, and the low death toll masks massive damage to infrastructure. Rescue efforts have also been delayed by unseasonably heavy late monsoon rains in the area.

There have been no reports yet from several settlements in and around the village of Ghunsa near the epicenter of the 18 September quake, and no relief yet in the north of Lelep in the Tamor Valley and in Olangchungola on the border with Tibet. Heavy landslides have blocked trails and thousands of people are still sleeping in tents or overhangs and caves.

A large-scale rehabilitation effort needs to be launched to rebuild schools that have been destroyed, and also to repair buildings severely damaged. Had the quake struck during school hours, hundreds of children would have been killed, as these pictures show.

Bandana Dewan peers from alongside the badly damaged classroom in Lelep the day after the earthquake.

The mountain north of Lelep before the earthquake and in a picture taken on 19 September with a huge landslide scar. Locals said there was a thunderous sound as huge rocks rolled down the mountain.


Grade 3 student Arina Anbuhang and her sister of Nangkholang recount the terrible night, and the ruins of Laxmi primary School where Arina and her sister studied.

The newly constructed classroom of the Sideshwor Secondary School of Phejung of Panchthar district.

This school toilet in Lelep collapsed completely, with only the doors standing.

Families whose houses were destroyed have been spending nights in tents.

Read also:
Coping the best we can

A virtual response to a real disaster in Nepal,SAPANA SHAKYA in OAKLAND
Overseas Nepalis simulate an earthquake emergency in Nepal to coordinate global rescue and relief

Vacancy: Earthquake Inspectors, PAAVAN MATHEMA
Why wait for an earthquake to determine how strong our homes or offices are?

1. Vija Srestha

Mr.Bhattarai these are your priorities,damaged schools and people without homes,roads etc.and you brought PLA soldiers as your bargaining material.If your PLA soldiers and you personali were for the people and fought for them,your service as PLA soldiers must be,should have been free of cost and service ,but you brought them to discussion table as your bargaining material.So tell me Mr.Bhattarai where is your personal and your parties devotion to people?Now millions of money will be spent on integration and packages for your PLA and party members who were devoted only to you personali and to your party.Whose money are you spending?Are those from pockets of your sponsors or is it government money?How can you ever look into eyes of any poor Nepali child,mother and father.It only tells me that your so devoted party cadres and PLA do not do anything for free unless you do not pay money.So here is the end of your parties ideology,from the roots ,no one wanted to do the job free of cost even your cadres and PLA.Here is the main reason to bring PLA as the spike in the wheel as you have to pay the dues.The whole process of development is delayed,diverted by you and your party.You do not care for people ,you care for the power,for the top post as PM .Your inability to speak and stand up for people in your own party against your own Dahal should have been the indicator and now is clearly seen that you are just the other PM taking advantage of the situation,playing your games ,the same way Dahal did at his PM ship time,however it doesn't lessen your responsibility and your speeches at different meetings are already indicator the blaming games you intend to play,so why don't you just step aside and let people who can lead and you as a valuable member of the society with your top divisions in academics will be of great help to the society if you really mean it, but till now,you have been wasting time,government money and the wisest choice would be to ask your PLA soldiers and your cadres to donate all the millions and free labour to the needs of people at the present.You would be remembered for this and this will be your greatest success as this is possible and real ,as for the constitution writing you must involve all parties as only then it would be written by people and for people,it is their choice. 

I wish every Nepali family health,sense of home ,self integrity and self respect,wealth will follow.

2. who cares
earthquake experts say that we should hide and protect out head, body from potential falling objects during earthquake if we are inside the house. 

i agree that we should protect ourselves from falling objects... but dont we thing we should run to open ground. 

same experts say 80% houses could collapse and still they suggest us to stay inside those house. 

i believe, it will take few 10 sec for house to collapse, and that time is enough for us to run. 

so why not run? i say run the way you have never ran before. but look for falling objects, cracking up parts of the infrastructure.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)