April 2015 – Thousands of People killed – and it was not unexpected…
They knew it. People in Nepal were expecting the disaster to come. Decades ago scientists found out that the country is permanently on the move. Nepal is sliding from east to west. It is “only” a couple of millimetres every year. In geological terms a tremendous distance.
But did those people in the Kathmandu Valley have any chance at all? Was there something that could have save the live of thousands of people? Most probably not.
I’ve been to the area several times. I’ve been working with local journalists, talking to politicians and experiencing daily live of locals. All of them knew that their country would be struck by an earthquake one day. None of them could afford building or buying earthquake-proof-houses. None of them was even thinking about reinforcing the ancient structures to make them quake proof.
And none of the people I was talking to was aware of the fact that only hours after an earthquake they would run out of drinking water for days weeks or months. The simple reason: clean water is pumped up from the wells by pumps operated with electrical power. Electricity broke down in the moment the earth was shaking and is not restored yet. No power, no pumps, no water means that water related diseases might be very close.