Article by: Dan Jachim
Photographs compiled by: Jinny Park
War has often been described as “hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of extreme terror”. Sadly, thousands of Nepalese experienced terror for a different reason. On the 25th of April, 2015, a massive earthquake struck the country, killing thousands, injuring countless more, and destroying already-insubstantial infrastructure. However, for all its horror, this tragedy was not wholly unexpected.
First and foremost, the region has a great history of earthquakes. It is an accepted fact that Nepal suffers from terrible earthquakes approximately every 75 years. Thus, when the last major earthquake occurred in 1934, 82 years ago, the fact that another major earthquake was coming should hardly have been news to the Nepalese government. Nepal is located in one of the most seismologically active regions in the world and is therefore no stranger to earthquakes. Yet, this earthquake caught them completely by surprise, mainly due to the second factor: poverty.
Nepal is not a rich nation. In fact, the United Nations Development Project claims it is the poorest in Asia, and one of the poorest in the world. Thus, expensive and modern technologies are not viable for the Nepalese government. They barely have the means to make their country run; improving it is practically out of the question. Despite the fact that preparing for disasters is generally much cheaper than cleaning up, Nepal has opted for the latter countless of times, as proven by the most recent earthquake.
The rising death toll, destroyed buildings, and thousands of people needing food, water, and medical help make clear that this disaster needs immediate attention. Luckily, it has already received some; within minutes, India and China both began large scale aid operations to help their neighbor. And help is extending beyond neighbors – people around the world are trying to help as well. Here in ISM, high school students were given the opportunity to, in exchange for a P100 donation, temporarily be exempt from the school’s uniform policies on April 30. The donations went to the Lincoln School in Kathmandu, a school many ISM students have attended in the past, and speak of with fond memories. So, while the donations of one school may not match those of India and China, they are given in the spirit of goodwill that will hopefully prevail and ensure that this tragedy is dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible.