Speechless

The last one - and I experienced it - was in the Nepali year 2045. Before that the big one in 1934 AD. But this earthquake's devastation has left me speechless. This is not only the biggest disaster to hit Nepal in my lifetime, it is the biggest disaster to have hit Nepal in the lifetime of the country. When the death toll crossed 4,000, I said it will easily cross 10,000. That probably means 50,000 injured. Damage to property is past $20 billion, the country's GDP. How do you wrap your head around something like that?

The last time Nepal hit the world headlines was in April 2006 when one third of the country came out into the streets for democracy. Before that Nepal hit the world headlines was when the Crown Prince mowed down his family Columbine style.

But this is different. The scales don't even begin to compare. In many ways the tragedy has not even begun. It will keep happening for months well into the monsoon season. This was a tsunami for a landlocked nation.

Social media brings many details right on to your screen. When you share news on Facebook multiple times a day, you don't know what to make of it. Maybe someone somewhere in your circle will read and donate to the relief effort?

I am one small human being.

Rebuilding will take years. The final death toll will take weeks to come in. Those rendered homeless might not get a home anytime soon. How will they cope through the rainy season? Tens of thousands are in immediate need of food and water. Devastated remote hills were out of touch for days. Rescue efforts might never reach many of them.

This is a tragedy whose magnitude is beyond comprehension. This is a tragedy that will play out for weeks, months, years.

The 2008 Great Recession shook America to the core. This earthquake has shaken Nepal to its foundations, only we are not taking jobs, we are talking lives.


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