I'm an earthquake

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Rahul da CunhaI’m sorry. Deeply deeply regretful. For the disaster, the death, the destruction, the debacle, the debris I have caused. I know it’s a tragedy of untold proportions. I was dormant for much of the time. But I know what a few minutes of ‘my movement’ can wreak. It’s not cold comfort that my epicenter was 80 km away. And that the ‘effects’ could have been worse for Nepal. The fact is, I have destroyed life. 10,000 victims and counting. Trekkers, tourists, tribals, all dead by my hand. The gentle people of Kathmandu have been limping back to relative ‘normalcy’.

Rescuers race against time to find survivors of the mammoth earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people in  Nepal five days ago.
Rescuers race against time to find survivors of the mammoth earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people in  Nepal five days ago. File pic

I am an earthquake. I have an epicenter. I release energy. I am a negative force.

But I mean no harm. I am rock, I am ‘plates’. I have fault lines. And these ‘shift’. I am an after effect of much ‘geographical activity’.

I am seismic. I am an avalanche. I am an aftershock. I am on a Richter scale. I ravage. I ruin. I don’t know my own strength. I have hurt man.

I am tsunami. I am tectonic. I create tremors. I am natural TNT. I have the power of many nuclear bombs. I wish I was man made. I wish that I had been built in a lab. So that nations could play the ‘other guy blinked’ game. I wish I was a ‘nuke’. Potentially deadly, but only in principle. I wish I could control myself and be controlled.

But no, I was created many years ago. I have the power of 700 Hiroshima bombs. When I strike, it has a chain reaction. Not like a single bolt of lightning, which is immediate and momentary. You can feel me, weeks, months, even years later.

I’ve struck the subcontinent often. India has felt my ‘wrath’. I have been at the epicenter of much wreckage.

There was Bhuj, Gujarat a few years ago. Latur, Aurangabad before that.

May I give you a heads up? You may not wish to listen to me, but please, 38 per cent of your cities are at ‘high risk’. 60 per cent of your land mass and 70 per cent of your population can be in mortal danger. Your capital city is the most vulnerable. Densely populated. Badly designed buildings. Hasty construction. No protection. This is a catastrophe waiting to happen.
Please, please, when I strike again, and I will, it is inevitable, be prepared. Otherwise the city can fall like a deck of cards.
I am an earthquake. I have an epicenter. I am sorry. Deeply.

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at
rahuldacunha62 @gmail.com

The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.

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