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Friday, 01 January 2016

Trekking in the Lantang Valley in Nepal, Before the 2015 Earthquake - Page 5

Written by Jean-Marc Theodorowicz
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When we passed again by the village of Lantang the next afternoon, on our trek back down the valley, and waved a last goodbye to the Lama family, little did we know that exactly one and a half years later, to the day, this village would be completely destroyed and buried under an avalanche of rocks and ice. It happened a little before lunch time and there were practically no survivors. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake of April the 25th dislodged parts of glaciers on Lantang Lirung and Lantang II. 116 houses in the village were buried, winds blew up to 93 miles per hour - strong enough to flatten forests on the other side of the valley. One single house, standing directly at the slope of the mountain, and being protected by an overhanging rock, was not destroyed.


It was in the busy part of the tourist season - the 12 tea houses and lodges were full. It is estimated that 80 foreigners died that day, along with 176 Langtang residents and 10 army personnel. More than 100 bodies were never recovered, and approximately 300 people were evacuated by helicopters, after being cut off by the numerous landslides and avalanches.


More than 9,000 people lost their lives, during, or in the aftermath of this fateful day in Nepal.

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It is impossible to make sense of the devastation from such a catastrophic event. Just to attempt to convey it in words is painful enough. If you ever had the chance to spend some time traveling in Nepal you would feel even more deeply for those wholesome folks. You see, in one of the poorest countries in the world, the Nepalese people are very kindhearted and they consistently show the bright side of their souls.


We were left wondering whether all the riches of this world could ever transcend these two entities: the heart and the soul?    


Our prayers and our thoughts go to the 9,000+ people who died in the 2015 earthquake and their families.


This article is dedicated to their memory.






©Jean-Marc Theodorowicz 

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(Page 5 of 5)
Last modified on Friday, 01 January 2016

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