Friday, September 23, 2011

A Himalayan Perspective

Himalayan mountains are the world’s highest. It consists of a series of gigantic peaks including the Everest and K2. It is no wonder then the word Himalayan is often used as an adjective to signify something really huge. Like as in Himalayan blunder.

So when I saw on the TV about the Himalayan earthquake. I assumed it to be massive, just like the mountains. At 6.9-magnitude, it is definitely a strong quake but a seismologist would not classify this as a massive one.

Compare this with the 9.0 magnitude Japan quake that triggered tsunami earlier during the year. Intensity of which was over a thousand times stronger than the recent Himalayan quake. Reason for such a big jump in the intensity between seemingly small numbers? Ok, this is going to get really technical - the Richter scale readings are on logarithmic scale (courtesy Mr. Walking Wikipedia in my life). I am digressing now.

So, is Himalayan quake really Himalayan in the sense of the word? I think it depends who you ask. To a sit-at-home Mom watching the news in Dubai, it may seem relatively small. A seismologist may classify this as a ‘strong’ quake and for you the reader, it may be something else. It is unlikely to be massive or Himalayan for most of us.

But think about the families of the 100 people who lost their lives, thousands of people who have lost their livelihood or residents of one of the 100,000 homes that were damaged in the quake. For all of them this has been massive, a Himalayan quake, both literally and figuratively.

So next time when you read about a minor accident, small terror incident or a 6.9 earthquake – spare a thought for people whom it may be major, big or a 9.0. 

Better still, spare some change for those people who are trying to rebuild their lives. The link below has details on how you can help 

1 comment:

  1. the Himalayas, home of the snow, is the most impressive system of mountains on the earth, and for centuries the setting for epic feats of exploration and mountain climbing / treks, are a world into themselves. Ascending the heights and being a part of the Himalayan landscape is an experience beyond comparison.

    treks to himalayas in India


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