After the Quake – Part 2


About two weeks after the second quake, I was back in the Kathmandu Dhurba Square neighbourhood searching for a vacuum cleaner of all things… I wasn’t having much success as most of the stores were still closed, as many of the store owners had returned to their villages to help with the recovery. We were about to head back to work when, on a whim, we decided to stop and take a look for ourselves at the devastation that happened at this famous World Heritage site.

It was eerie. A lane had been roped for pedestrians to walk though the main site, keeping us away from the damaged buildings. Walking past piles of sorted rubble, tents, and cracked buildings, all we could really do was stare in horror. The palace roof was severely damaged, whole temples had completely disappeared and tourist vendors were gone and had been replaced by a tent village. It really looked nothing like its former self. For contrast, take a look at the short video I made just a couple of months before the earthquake. Here also are a few pictures:

Kathmandu Dhurba Square

Kathmandu Dhurba Square before the quake. Teeming with people and pigeons (and cows)…

Kathmandu Dhurba Square after the earthquake

After the quake and after the rescue squads, in came the clean up crew and stacked the wooden beams and want ever was salvageable from the wreckage (not much). The rest of us just stood and gawped.

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Extensive damage to the Royal Palace at Kathmandu Dhurba Square: Hanoman Dhoka

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Where tourist vendors previously set up endless stands of Nepalese tourist paraphernalia, now sprung a tent city.

I think international money will come in and rebuild the three Dhurba squares (Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur). However, outside of the World Heritage Sites, so much has been destroyed that will never be replaced. I hope what is rebuilt has a little seismic resilience built into the construction next time around.

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