Thursday, September 22, 2011


The earthquake rocked the most pristine place in the country on 18.09.2011 and ruined its placidity in seconds. It filled the minds of millions with trepidation. It killed, crippled, disrupted and demolished. Hundreds were injured and several faced the death penalty. It was probably the most horrifying experience in my life. The main tremor started at 6:15PM, lasting for about 45 seconds and shook several parts of the country - Sikkim, Bihar, West Bengal, Delhi, Rajasthan and even Nepal, since the epicentre was in Sikkim-Nepal border, just few hundred kilometres from our college; followed by several minor aftershocks continuing up to the next day. It affected around 100,000 buildings. Water supply and electricity was at standstill and still so in many regions. The quake also brought with it several landslides which caused roadblocks on both the North Sikkim highway and the Gangtok-Siliguri stretch of the NH-31.

Back in our college, the roof of the boys' hostel collapsed. Tiles, bricks, lights, walls broke everywhere. Quite a number of individuals were injured, luckily none were serious(even though a helicopter flew into our college the next day and took away few who needed medical attention and everyone was fascinated for obvious reasons). These are just the physical effects it brought. The amount of mental dilemma and nervousness is several times as much. We hardly slept that night, pledged to spend the night on the open ground, it was raining unfortunately. Due to congestion in the mobile network, we were unreachable by our family. The next morning, those friends and family who never usually called, called. There was no bound to everyone's tension.

Nowadays, every time I go to bed, my heart beats faster than ever in fear of a bigger tremor. Rumours, false alarms, fake predictions add to the stress. A minor earthquake hit Sikkim again yesterday. Tourism is down the drain as Sikkim will be the last choice among the list of general public's holiday hotspots. Software companies for placement of jobs are hesitating to visit our college, anticipating future tremors. North Sikkim, a region known for its scenic beauty, will now be known for the hard-hitting damages by the quake. Daily life has been hampered. Students and workers from other states are desperate to flee the state. It's going to take quite a while to bring back everything to normalcy.

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