8 Jun, 2015
Kathmandu, UN News Centre, 5 June 2015 – Against the backdrop of Nepal’s humming capital of Kathmandu, in a centre just off Durbar Square, it would be difficult to miss the elderly woman smiling warmly in a bright red sari. She is among those offering traditional, homespun goods, the cultural heritage of the country that is part of the allure that, for centuries, has compelled travellers to visit in droves.
On 25 April, the Square’s customary hustle and bustle – along with the rest of the country and some neighbouring States – was jolted by a violent earthquake that shattered lives and reduced structures that have stood for decades, some even centuries, to rubble. The disaster, which has left more than 8,000 people dead and thousands of others injured, led the Nepalese Government to declare a state of emergency.
Not three weeks later, amid ongoing rescue and relief efforts, another powerful temblor shook the country, ravaging more lives and dealing another brutal blow to the crippled infrastructure. Adding to the human tragedy was an immense cultural loss that has registered both locally and globally.