Life after the Quake....
I don't know how but I managed to sleep albeit a restless night trying to anticipate the signs of an impending Earthquake. It's impossible of course, there just is no warning whatsoever. A small ground shudder sent everyone running around 10pm last night - it's over before I can reach the staircase!
Monday, again the TV is saturated with images of damage, death and despair, and news now of flattened villages in the rural districts. Not surprising since construction there is poor and often on shaky foundations anyway. Rescue and relief is paramount now with news stations listing those countries sending help - India and China are the big players with equipment while developed nations are send personnel to help dig out those trapped in rubble. Middle East and Europe are sending food aid as space at the Kathmandu airport is fast running out.
Tuesday, a better nights sleep as the the ground motions seem less noticeable and at larger time intervals, although how much of it is imaginary, we'll I just don't know. Every subtle ground motion felt here in Pokhara translates to a significant aftershock emanating from the original rupture at Gorkha near Kathmandu. Buildings continue to fall, landslips are still occurring blocking access routes to those hill communities.
Pokhara airport is now a base for the Indian Air force relief mission - a stomp down to the end of the runway today and the place is busy with a Queue of waiting ambulances amid the mountain of food and water piling up by the passenger terminal. Seven helicopters and a transport plane occupying pretty much all the tarmac space. Crowds of on-lookers are gathered along the perimeter road as the arriving choppers offload bodies, stretchered away to the waiting ambulances, load up with supplies and off again, towards the Gorkha district just North-West of Pokhara.
Wednesday, subtle ground motions continue, sometimes swaying otherwise a succession of vibrations lasting 1/2 second. Residents camping on the grazing meadow are resigned to being there for sometime as government warns that further quakes may occur. Pokhara Lakeside is beginning to fill with tourists, namely those who we're trekking as the quake hit are slowly arriving in the the town. It's become something of a transient place, Trekkers and their guides with little to do but mill around making the best of things as they wait for information. As for me, we'll the best thing to do right now is stay put, at worst I can get a bus south to the Indian border - it's an option as south and west Nepal are unaffected - the only option right now as the international airport isn't taking civil flights.