Nepal Earthquake 2015 - Rui Pires


In October of 2014 I started to work on planning an expedition to Nepal to do a deep historical research about the first occidentals to arrive there in 1624: the Portuguese Jesuit monks John Cabral, Antonio de Andrade and Estevão Cacela.

This Portuguese Jesuits was the first documented occidentals to arrive and travel in Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. But that is a different long story. Many contacts with local researchers an historians, research, planning, booking hotels, guides, drivers, 4x4 vehicles, around April of 2015 the project was ready and we decided that we will travel in day 28th of April.

Unfortunately, on 25th of April of 2015 a 7.8 Mw earthquake occurs with epicentre near Lamjung and our plans gone, as most of the research was to happen in areas which were destroyed or became inaccessible by land. At same time, due the earthquake all Nepalese communication system collapsed and I lose the contact with my assistants and guides, latter I received the information that one of my assistants in Nepal had died, as his home collapsed.

Fortunately few days after he sent me a message and he was ok. Anyway, knowing that my plans are ruined, I decided to contact some NGOs in Nepal in order to help them producing photography and video for fund-raising purposes and also help in international fund-raising through my contacts, and decided to keep the trip on.

On 12th of May, a major aftershock with 7,3 Mw occurs with the epicentre at 400 meters from a monastery where I was to work my main research. All monastery and surround villages ends as rubbish. Many people died. Fortunately monks and nuns survived because as the first earthquake destroyed the houses they were sleeping in tents outside After postpone the expedition, we start traveling at 14th of May to India where we work for 10 days and at day 24th we cross we arrived at Nepal border.

We spent the first days at Lumbini, the birthplace of Budha, where we start our research. Few days latter we travel to Pokhara, Anapurna and after 8 days of research in a untouched Nepal (no signs of earthquake in all this region from Sunauli to Pokhara and to border of Gorkha district), we travel to Kathmandu where we arrived in day 29th of May.

In Kathmandu we worked with some NGO´s to produce photography and video to be used for fund-raising purposes in order to help the displaced people and rebuild the country.


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