Tales from the Island of Serendip
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Kevin Bubriski first visited Nepal in 1975 as a 20-year-old Peace Corps volunteer.

 

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He worked on a project to bring drinking water to villages. He has been returning to Nepal to photograph the Nepalese people ever since.

 

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I've been drawing, painting and photodocumenting the village of Bonhooghly since 1982, so his wonderful photos strike a powerful chord with me.

 

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This photograph is especially haunting. It was taken in the Gorkha district between Pokhara and Kathmandu in 1985.

 

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Haunting because precisely thirty years later, at just before noon on Saturday 25th April 2015, the district would become the epicenter of a 7.9 earthquake.

 

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The earthquake caused Everest's worst ever disaster, despite the fact the mountain was 200km from the epicentre. The avalanche which hit the Everest base camp killed at least 17 people and more than 60 were injured.

 

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“The ground was shaking from the earthquake and as soon as we saw people running we were running ourselves to save our lives."

Jost Korbush, Everest Base Camp

 

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Nearly two dozen aftershocks followed, including a magnitude 6.6 barely an hour afterwards.

 

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A part of the Indian state of Bihar slid between one and 10 feet northwards and underneath Nepal in a matter of seconds.The tremors continued for almost two minutes and were felt across northern India, killing 50 people.

 

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1000 kilometers from the epicenter, the tremors felt in Kolkata were still 5.0 on the Richter scale, sufficient to send people running from high rise buildings.

 

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Kolkata lies directly on a fault line, known as the Eocene Hinge Zone. The fracture runs right through the middle of the city, at a depth of 4.5 kilometres, before passing through Bangladesh and Myanmar and, further on, to Sumatra.

 

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Kolkata would not be able to withstand an earthquake beyond 6.0. Most of the buildings would collapse, and an estimated 200,000 people would die. Only 7 earthquakes in history have killed more people than would die here.

 

"It’s just a matter of time”

Supriya Mondol, associate professor of plate tectonics, Jadavpur University

 

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Lucina was alone in her apartment when it began to shake. "I was terrified" she later told me.

 

But at the time I knew nothing of this. I was on a flight returning to Manchester after my second visit to Mridula's family in as many months.

 

As fragile as gossamer, my adoptive family...

 

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Some of those images are quite heart wrenching ,i can only imagine the pain.

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