Monday, September 19, 2011

Bhutan's Biggest Earthquake

This was the strongest and the longest earthquake I felt in this life of mine. I was with my wife and daughter at a hotel visiting my brother and our Japanese in-law. At first I was calm, telling my wife not to worry but as it went on and on I was the first to run underneath the door frame and then gathered everyone around me. My in-law was unexpectedly cool about it, she shares how such quakes happen often in Japan. But what she doesn't know is that the pillar she is holding on to may not be as strong as those in Japan.
Our son was all by himself and away from us, we desperately tried to connect to him but in such times even mobile fails us. Then I got worried about my mother but it was five hour later that I could talk to her. She tells me this was the biggest quake she felt in her 50 years on earth. Upon reaching home it was a big relieve to see nothing happened and that we could share news to friends and family via Facebook.
Our Prime Minister, who is currently in New York quickly clammed us all by sharing news from across the country through Facebook. He was even aware of the status of Mobile Phone service in the country, to which I asked what alternatives do we have in such times. His excellency was kind enough to make a reply on my wall. But despite his comforting promise I wonder how could we possibly ensure a secure communication line in such times, when we saw earlier this year how super countries like Japan could fail.
PM's reply.
Another major concern is our lack of preparedness despite so much of awareness done through different medias. Listening to how people reacted today, everybody seems to have ran out of their home for their lives, but that is the unsafest way out- many know about it and only few trust it.
The final and the most dangerous practice in our communities is our quickness in cooking up rumors and spreading them. In times of disasters we must try and help calm people around us, ensuring everybody's safety, get needful information from authentic sources and report casualties to authorities without waiting for someone else to do it. On the contrary, we are good at panicking ourselves and dragging others into it by listening to and spreading rumors. Today, many families are sleeping outside fearing the aftershock which was rumored to happen by midnight. Some people are already talking about GLOF triggered by the earthquake and few crazy people have started talking about the end of the world. As an educated individual it becomes our personal responsibility to verify the rumors and make it stop from spreading further because sometimes it could cause more damage than the disaster itself.
It may shake us but it can't break us.

1 comment:

  1. Sir, It is indeed on a deep remorse that we couldn't connect with the families and friends back at home. I kept noticing the facebook page for the earthquake update.
    Sir, it is good to know that earthquake has now stopped despite people might still be in shock.

    Take Care All.

    ReplyDelete

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