Monday, April 27, 2015

Kathmandu on my mind

I sit in San Francisco where the earth has been known to shake and think about Nepal. This is the Boudhanath Stupa as it looked when I visited in 2010. It is a world heritage site, very much a place of spiritual power. There are reports that the earthquake damaged the spire above the eyes and some of the adjacent buildings and smaller stupas.

This shot shows the tower that is reported damaged.

These worshipers circumambulated continuously. I remember thinking that I wondered whether the brick buildings surrounding the stupa could survive a quake. The space is cramped. The few available pictures on the news don't answer that question.

This was Patan Durbar Square in 2010. The taller brick buildings on the right are now piles of rubble. The stupa on the left seems to have survived the quake. I took this picture at midday, roughly the time the earthquake struck.

Patan was a busy place.

This construction worker was tying steel reinforcement on a new building, exactly the sort of construction that a city located on a fault requires. Note that he is doing the work in flip-flops. OSHA would not approve.

The Nepalese are tough and resilient. They have to be. Essentially there is no government, only erratic electricity, hardly any roads. It will be weeks before there is a full picture of what happened to people outside the big city, closer to the epicenter of the quake.

Mercy Corps seems to be on the ground in Kathmandu with local staff. So is Oxfam.


Hattie said...

Lovely photos. Lucky you to have seen it then. I'll send some money to Oxfam.

ellen kirkendall said...


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