On April 25, 2015, a massive earthquake hit Nepal.
A strong earthquake initially reported as anything from 7.5 to 7.9 struck Nepal 06:11:25.80 UTC today, April 25. Tremors were felts in parts of India, in the city of Delhi and in Malaysia and Bangladesh.
According to the US Geological Survey the quake struck an area in central Nepal between the capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara; its power was quickly adjusted to 7.9.
All too soon the extent of the devastation became clear.
As we reported at the time "Early reports of two deaths were quickly forgotten as the death toll started to climb. By noon Saturday UK time Russia Today was reporting at least 400 dead, a couple of hours later the death toll was estimated as at least 785 and hours later 1,300. Wednesday the death toll is now more than 5,000 and the huge human tragedy continues to unfold. 5,238 people were confirmed dead as of Wednesday with another 10,348 injured. Officials in Nepal believe the death toll may ultimately pass 10,000. Scenes from Nepal show devastation, a word which is perhaps overused and hardly seems able to describe what is happening."
Our report continued "The landmark Dharahara tower in Kathmandu, a popular tourist attraction, is now rubble. The Daily Telegraph showed an image of the dust covered head and shoulders of a man trapped in the debris of a fallen building Saturday as rescuers tried to free him.
While some are still being pulled out alive from the rubble of buildings it is now mainly a recovery operation. The number of dead are piling up and late Tuesday some were laid outside of a morgue for identification; but this was also as there is nowhere to store the dead awaiting burial.
At least 8,000 people died.
In 1934 Kathmandu was practically destroyed in an earthquake. The fact that such an event is not unknown in the region is no comfort to those displaced. The last significant earthquake in the area in 2011 killed at least five people but the 2015 earthquake will enter record books for its power and death toll.
Wednesday one British death in Nepal is confirmed; the man had dual nationality and was not resident in the UK. There are unconfirmed reports that another Briton was killed at Everest base-camp."
A couple of weeks after the main event a "Second major quake rocks Nepal". More than 100 people are killed and thousands more injured.
But as the one year anniversary of the massive earthquake passes people in the region have grown tired of waiting for normality to return.
Monday BBC News reports:
"A year after the earthquake and Nepal is still a country of tarpaulins, tents and tin-roofed shacks.
I had imagined rebuilding would have begun, but it is as if the country has been frozen in time.
The streets have been cleared of rubble and the most obviously unstable structures have been brought down, but that is where the so-called "reconstruction effort" stopped.
Virtually none of the 800,000 buildings it is reckoned the quake destroyed have been rebuilt.
The lack of progress is most stark in the countryside. Whole villages are still shattered and broken."
You can read the full BBC report here-it is rather grim
April 15 is one of those days that are significant in history. On a personal level it is the day this writer's late father, and brother, was born. As a child there were often reminders of this day in history due to the loss of the Titanic. In 50s Britain that was still remembered as a huge tragedy. More recently the Hillsborough football disaster marred this date and then there were the 2013 Boston marathon bombings.
The sinking of the Titanic
Perhaps the Titanic should never have been deemed unsinkable. In doing so the huge liner was maybe jinxed. Either way the loss of the Titanic continues to catch the imagination of film producers and enthusiasts. Striking an iceberg late April 14 the sinking was not instant. The death throes of the Titanic and those on board were painfully slow but rescuers arrived too late. They did however manage to save those still alive on board the all too few lifeboats. On April 15, 1912, Titanic went to its watery grave taking at least 1,500 people with her.
When the Liverpool football team and their army of fans descended on Sheffield for a match at the Hillsborough stadium who would have believed the tragedy that would unfold? This writer watched events unfold on T.V. news before finally the plug was pulled on the harrowing viewing. 96 people died, including children, after crowds surged forward crushing the life out of those trapped behind pitch barriers. It was the 25th anniversary of this disaster in 2014 and the families of the dead were still searching for answers. After an apparent police cover up finally new inquests were launched which may at last offer closure?
July 2015 Daily Mirror -Tony Blair 'rejected Hillsborough inquiry as a favour for Rupert Murdoch'
The Boston Marathon Bombings
On April 15, 2013, it was Patriots' Day in the U.S.A. Patriots' Day commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. Wikipedia reports "Since 1969, the holiday has been observed on the third Monday in April, providing a three-day long weekend, as well as being the first day of public school vacation week in Maine and Massachusetts". In 2013 the day was marred by a terrorist bomb attack which left three people dead, including a young boy, and more than 260 injured. Many of those injured sustained terrible injuries and 16 people lost limbs. Two young men were believed to be responsible for the attack. One Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in the police manhunt for the bombers.
The other, his younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was apprehended after a manhunt. The judge at his trial quoted works by Shakespeare and Verdi as he formally imposed the death sentence -- a decision already made by a federal jury.
As with all days in history there are a range of other notable events on April 15 which include: 1945, British troops entered the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen after negotiating a truce with the German commandant and 1986 the United States bombed Tripoli in retaliation for Libyan terrorist attacks on American targets. But it seems that April 15 will forever be remembered as a day in infamy and will be one of those days that continue to be remembered.
Titanic: 40 fascinating facts
On this Day in History
The following pages carry notable dates for each month of the year while this blog will carry features for some of those dates:
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