News Reporter's Notebook

Feeling The Earth Shake, Running For Safety And Then, Helping My Country

Earthquake victim Khum Bahadur Tamang lies in a bed in Charak Hospital in Pokhara last week. (Nirajan Kathayat/YJI)

POKHARA, Nepal – It was midday on April 25, 2015 and I was with my classmates and teachers in our Saturday workshop when suddenly our classroom started to tremble.

I already knew that it was an earthquake, but I wasn’t worried. About a month ago, we experienced another type of trembling which only lasted for a few seconds.

It wasn’t until four minutes later, when the shaking finally ended, that I realized this was more serious and I was scared.

Sacks of rice collected in Nepal for victims of the earthquake. (Nirajan Kathayat/YJI)

We joked about the earthquake, but rather than stopping after a few seconds, it increased its speed.

Then we all were scared.

Our classroom was on the third floor and it was very difficult to get out of the building, so we all tried to hide under the tables and door frames. There are two doors and two tables, but there were about 15 of us, so I thought that it was better to go out of the building rather than stay inside.

I started to run down the stairs, forgetting about my shoes. Everyone else followed and we all got out of the building safely.

Once outside, we saw our building shaking along with the surrounding buildings.

All the people nearby were out of their houses and scared as well. The earthquake lasted four minutes and measured 7.9 on the Richter scale, which means it was a major earthquake.

We were all staying outside and then I remembered my sister, so I rushed home to her. I found my sister safe inside and I took her out of the building.

After one hour an aftershock came and everyone was out of their buildings again.

Fortunately, no one that I knew died during these earthquakes, but later we heard that Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, was completely destroyed.

Doctors check earthquake victims at Charak Hospital in Pokhara last week. (Photo by Nirajan Kathayat/YJI)

Also, districts such as Lamjung, Nuwakot, Kavre, Dolakha, Sindhupalchok, Gorkha and Baglung suffered a lot from the earthquakes.Many of our national heritage monuments including: Dharahara Tower, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Hanuman Dhoka Square and others were destroyed.

During the night, everyone – including my friends and I – were afraid to go inside their houses. The whole community slept outside in front of the buildings.

I didn’t eat any food that day, so I bought some noodles to eat. Everyone else fell asleep except for me – I was awake the whole night.

We experienced many small earthquakes during night and the next day.

We slept again outside the building, but I couldn’t sleep that night, either.

We heard that the earthquake caused extensive damage to buildings all over the country and thousands were dead or injured. Many historic buildings collapsed, temples were been ruined and roads destroyed.

Nirajan Kathayat of Pokhara pitched in
as a volunteer after a massive earthquake
struck Nepal.

As of Monday, more than 7,000 people are reported dead and 15,000 injured.

On Monday night, April 27 – the third night after the earthquake – we finally felt safe enough to sleep inside of the building. The next day, I went to Charak Hospital, our local hospital, to see the condition of the victims.

I was so sad to see the people of all ages in the hospital, lying in rows on mattresses surrounded by blood-soaked tissues. The hospital was working over capacity with doctors who were called in from leave.

Now Nepal is in trouble and the Nepali people need help.

The scarcity of food and clean drinking water is increasing day by day. Some people have become sick from the pollution because they chose to stay outside in fear of collapsing buildings.Many national and international organizations are helping to search for people inside the collapsed buildings and provide food and medicine to those who are injured.

Many people have lost their family members, and there are many without food or shelter.

As a 12th grade student born and raised in Nepal, I would like to thank all the organizations, countries, and individuals who are supporting victims of this national tragedy.

I ask that the world keep assisting Nepal and its people financially or in prayer in this time of need.

Please join hands with us and help the victims.

Nirajan Kathayat is a Junior Reporter for Youth Journalism International.

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