My Beloved Nepal-Earthquake Stories Part 1

By John Saboe | Nepal

Apr 26

Balaju, one of the worst hit sections of Kathmandu saw many of it's buildings like these completely destroyed by the earthquakes of 2015
Balaju, one of the worst hit sections of Kathmandu saw many of it’s buildings like these completely destroyed by the earthquakes of 2015

For Nepal 2015 will go down as one of the worst years on record, for disasters, politics, everything!

On April 25 at 11:56am an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 shook the country from it’s epicenter at Lamjung District at Barpak, Gorkha.

In the weeks to follow hundreds of aftershocks would be felt. In the end over 9000 were killed at least 21,000 injured and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes either temporarily or permanently.

I decided to follow up on the state of the country shortly after most of the international media had left. My intention was to document the effects of the earthquakes and aftershocks and assess the conditions for travellers.

Nepal relies heavily on tourism to support the economy, in fact it is normally 10% of the GDP, gross domestic product. Many rely on tourism to support their families, in some cases the only alternative to working abroad, something that over 1 million Nepalis do.

Having made friends in Nepal’s tourism industry I had deep concerns for their welfare. Some international media were reporting that this would be the end of tourism for Nepal, devastating words almost as strong as an earthquake itself.

I knew that some sites were completely destroyed including many temples in the Durbar Squares of the Kathmandu Valley. But I also knew that many had either suffered some minor damage or none at all. Was the industry really in ruins?

So I set off for Nepal, with a scheduled arrival for 1pm at Tribhuvan Airport in Kathmandu. My adventure started just before we were about to land with an announcement from the pilot that another earthquake had struck the country. Our descent would be delayed so crews could check for any damage to the runways. Ninety minutes later we touched down to a country shaken into another level of fear with a 7.3 aftershock with an epicenter 18km southeast of Kodari near the border of China. The epicenter was on the border of Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk.

More nights of sleeping outdoors, shops and businesses staying closed, and stories floating around of more, stronger earthquakes on the way.

The first episode in a series on Far East Adventure Travel-the people, stories, and places effected by the Nepal earthquakes of 2015.


About the Author

I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.