15. The Earthquake (4)
I met a man today whose story sums up the situation better than any words I can use. He is an Indian citizen who was in Nepal to look after his ill mother-in-law. With her insistence, he has left her behind (she’s too ill to travel) in order to escape for his own safety. People are succumbing to the natural survival instinct of ‘fight or flight’ – there is no way of fighting an Earthquake, so people are escaping instead. They believe that they are literally running for their lives. Due to the lack of comprehensive coverage in many villages, stories abound that the Earthquakes will continue for weeks, months, or even years. I have no idea how much truth is in this but, having spent some time with people here and, knowing their natural tendency for pessimism and exaggeration, I must acknowledge both the possibility that this may be true, or that it may be completely exaggerated. Either way, it’s enough to make people scarper.