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SHAKEN WITH IGNORANCE

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Ruins are seen after earthquake at Hanumandhoka Durbar Square in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 29, 2015. The 7.9-magnitude quake hit Nepal.
 Ruins are seen after earthquake at Hanumandhoka Durbar Square in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 29, 2015. The 7.9-magnitude quake hit Nepal.
Ruins are seen after earthquake at Hanumandhoka Durbar Square in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 29, 2015. The 7.9-magnitude quake hit Nepal.

BY BIKRAM VOHRA

Has anyone read anything scientific about how far seismographic knowledge has progressed and why it is given so low a priority seeing as how earthquakes could destroy the planet before the drones take off.

Look. I am ready to admit it. My house is in Delhi and my sister lives on the seventh floor and it is scary as hell. What is even worse is that sneaky feeling that while we may have mastered other disciplines we know nothing like nothing about earthquakes.

This one yesterday was 10 miles into the core of the earth and all we know is that more might come. As Nepal disintegrates before our eyes and the tremors shake parts of India the fault lines seem to widen across the globe.

But where is the calming effect of knowledge. There is no point these politicians telling us not to panic and we won’t if there is some scientific signposting.

Totally absent.

From aftershocks and Richter scales and multiple tremblings you fear quakes have come to stay. It is not a one off thing, this is like every afternoon.

I live outside India but come lunchtime I dread the phone ringing because that is amazingly around the time the tremors begin.

I was there for two of them. And believe me you are helpless and frozen and you have no idea what to do.

The ignorance is so vivid one TV channel anchor said hide under furniture. Great going, lady. I can see the rubble weighing tons cheerfully bouncing off the cheap plywood cot and the soft sofa.

So, back to the question. Where is the research on earthquakes? Can’t we second guess them… clearly we cannot.