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Another earthquake strikes terror in Nepal

We support home efforts to help students

Venkat Raman – 

Even before the country could recover from the shock of a massive earthquake that killed more than 8000 people and injured tens of thousands of others, Nepal was rocked by another massive earthquake as we were with printers with this issue.

This tremor, measuring 7.3 on Richter Scale, occurred on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 11 am GST (11 pm New Zealand Time) near Mount Everest in Eastern Nepal, killing about 30 people and injuring almost 1000 people.

Many rushed out of their homes and offices in sheer panic and began running in different directions, seeking safety.

There were also reports that parts of Bihar in India were also affected.

25 seconds too long

BBC Correspondent Yogita Limaye, who was in Nepal’s mountains when the latest earthquake struck, said,” The earth shook and it shook for a long time (25 seconds). I can completely understand the sense of panic. We have been seeing tremors; it has been two-and-half weeks since the first quake. But this one really felt like it went on for a really long time. People have been terrified,” she said.

Quoting US Geological Survey reports, BBC placed the epicentre of the May 12 earthquake at 83 kms east of Kathmandu in a rural area close to the Chinese border.

“It struck at a depth of 15 kms, the same as the earthquake of April 25, 2015. Shallow earthquakes are more likely to cause more damage at the surface. The second earthquake is likely to be the largest to hit Nepal, which has suffered immensely since a fortnight,” the Report said.

Six Aftershocks

Other reports said that Tuesday’s earthquake was followed by six aftershocks of magnitude 5.0 or higher. One tremor that hit 30 minutes later, centred on the district of Ramechhap, east of Kathmandu with 6.3 magnitude.

CNN said that at least four people were killed in Chautara town in Sindhupalchok District north of Kathmandu after several buildings collapsed and more than a dozen injured.

“Two deaths have been reported in Bhimeswhar in Dolakha District. There are also concerns over a large glacial lake called ‘Tso Rolpa’ in Dolakha that is held back by a fragile natural dam,” the report said.

Students hit

While we could not ascertain the reaction of the Nepalese community in New Zealand to the latest earthquake, the emotional stress of the April 25 tremor has been visible. The worst affected could be the 2000 strong student population from Nepal.

Auckland is the home for about 850 international students from the Himalayan country and a majority of them are stated to be from economically modest families. Some of them said that they arrived in New Zealand on monies borrowed by their parents and relatives back home and that earthquake would leave them in dire straits.

There are at least four Nepalese associations located in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. We spoke to the Christchurch based Nepal New Zealand Friendship Society Co-Director Dr Bhola Pradhan and new Zealand Nepalese Association of Auckland Vice-President Raj Maharjan soon after the first quake occurred and since then we have been coordinating efforts with the latter.

Another earthquake strikes- May 12 tremor shocks

Police Support

New Zealand Police, led by Deputy Chief Executive (Maori & Ethnic Groups) Superintendent Wallace Haumaha and National Ethnic Advisor Inspector Rakesh Naidoo have been proactive, with Asian Ethnic Advisor of Auckland City District Police Jessica Phuang talking to students and assuring them of all possible support and assistance.

Indians help

Upon our request, the New Zealand Indian Central Association President Harshad Patel announced an immediate donation of $2000 following instantly by Auckland Indian Association President Parshotam Govind with a similar donation of $2000. A day later, Paramjit Dhatt, Executive Committee Member of Manukau Indian Association declared that his Association would ready with an initial amount of $500. All three associations have offered free use of their venue for official bodies of the Nepalese community.

Ranjna Patel, Director of East Tamaki Healthcare has also been raising funds through her organisation (which employs Nepalese medical practitioners) and the Swaminarayan Satsang Organisation (ISSO) which owns the Swaminarayan Temple in the South Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe.

Welfare Fund

Members of the community held a candlelight vigil at Aotea Square on Sunday, May 3.

Mr Maharjan told us that a meeting, comprising mainly international students from Nepal,  held at the Mahatma Gandhi Centre on May 9, supported creation of ‘Nepalese Student Welfare Fund’ to help most needy students.

“We hope to establish a Committee comprising representatives of the community and the Police to ensure transparency and accountability, determine criteria of support and comply with other requirements. The immediate needs would be fees payable to their respective educational institutions and living expenses,” he said.

Mr Maharjan can be contacted on 021-02231075. Email: rajmaharjan@hotmail.com

 

Photo :

  1. Nepalese rushing to the streets on May 12
  2. Residents of Eastern Nepal in shock

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