Major earthquake again shakes already devastated Nepal

Greydon Tomkowitz, Print Editor

On May 12, another major earthquake rocked the already devastated eastern country of Nepal.

This happened mere weeks after the first major earthquake hit the Nepal capital of Kathmandu, sending citizens running into the streets, killing more than 8,000 people.

This time, the earthquake originated near the base camp of Mt Everest.

“For the first seconds, it was complete silence. By the fifth second, everybody started to scream,” said Marc Sarrado, a 41-year-old documentarian from Spain who was in Nepal’s Nuwakot Valley, about two hours northwest of Kathmandu, when the quake hit.

The latest earthquake, registering at 7.3 magnitude, has caused at least 70 deaths and has injured more than 1,500.

Tuesday’s magnitude-7.3 earthquake struck about 9.3 miles (15 kilometers) deep, the U.S. Geological Survey said. For comparison’s sake, the magnitude-7.8 quake on April 25 — which killed more than 8,000 — was centered east of, rather than west of Kathmandu and a little further away (at 60 miles).

That earlier tremor was also more than three times bigger and 5.6 times stronger, in terms of energy released, according to the USGS.

Shockwaves were felt across northern India and as far away as the capital New Delhi, where buildings swayed for more than a minute and people scurried into the streets.

People in Kathmandu rushed outdoors, Reuters reporters said. There were no immediate reports of damage to buildings. Shopkeepers closed their shops.

“It was really, really intense,” Sarrado said, “Even when the shaking stopped, people were still screaming. They were completely panicked, because they knew exactly what it was.”

The question is, after all the tragedies: two devastating earthquakes, dozens of aftershocks, and generations of people physically and mentally scarred, what is next for Nepal?