Maghe Sankranti is a very welcome day in Nepal as it is a festival that primarily welcomes the return of the warm weather. Today is that very day! Night-time temperatures have ‘warmed up’ to 5 degrees in the capital and up to 18 degrees by day. I can even feel the relief from here!
I have fond memories of such a day when I lived in Lok’s place in Banepa two years ago. I even wrote a blog posting which you can check out here.
However for a better description of the festival itself from those who know, take a look at the blog posting written by friends of a friend of mine, Sonnia.
Also being celebrated today in Nepal is National Earthquake Safety Day to commemorate the 1934 magnitude 8.3 earthquake epicentred in Okhaldhunga that killed 10,000 people in Kathmandu Valley. Not that the Nepalese need reminding of the effects that large earthquakes can have, after experiencing the April 25th and May 12th earthquakes last year. The troubling thing is, last year’s earthquakes may not have been the Big One that was expected. Take a look at what Kunda Dixit, Publisher of the Nepali Times, has to say about it. Note the ongoing tips on what to do in the event of an earthquake, on the Nepali Times banner, top of the page.
SIRC ran a Disaster Preparedness Planning Training session yesterday. They did such an awesome job last year when the two large earthquakes struck, you would think they would be experts by now. But much has changed, there are new staff as well as patients come and go, so it’s important to keep the awareness going and Be Prepared!
The training was facilitated by Dr. Aashish Shrestha and Dr Sumana Bajracharya from Patan Hospital and included a simulation exercise to hone the staff’s skills on disaster response. You can never learn enough really.
Kudos to SIRC for continuing this important practical training – it will save lives.