AS IF, IT WAS YESTERDAY!

August 2007

Almost every year Bihar gets affected by the flood. The reason is when Nepal receives heavy rainfall, the water flows into Koshi and Bagmati rivers. The water level rises which may break the Koshi dam and Koshi embankment barrage, resulting in severe damage to Bihar and Nepal. Therefore, the gates of the Koshi dam are opened and water enters North Bihar.

I remember it was raining for days. The power was cut down in villages and so we couldn’t watch the news on TV. Radio was the only option. Many parts of Bihar were under high alert. Our was Madhubani district and luckily, it was not as much affected as neighbouring districts. We were in school, an announcement was made the dam in our city (Jhanjharpur) is on the verge of breaking. This would lead to a severe flood in Jhanjharpur.

In no time, we students sat in our respective school buses and those who had their own means of transport went straight home. It took 2 hours to reach home and when we reached, we heard the dam broke! It was raining cats and dogs and water started to flow in the villages of Jhanjharpur. That night, we couldn’t sleep as we were praying for the rain to stop but it didn’t. It rained and rained.

In the morning, we saw, the low farmlands in our villages were submerged. We couldn’t see a sign of our crops and people were crying. The water level was rising and water started to flow on roads and the thatched houses fell down.

Luckily, the water didn’t enter our house but the way it rained we feared water might enter our house. However, there was water in the compound of our house. We heard on the radio several people were forced out of their homes. Farmers lost their families, crops, cattle, and houses.

This flood is considered to be the worst ever flood in Bihar and caused thousands of death. 2008 flood is also considered to be the worst, as it flooded the areas remaining untouched by flood for years. The Koshi river picked up a different channel and this resulted in the flood.

25th April 2015

It was a cloudy day. In fact, for Bihar’s climate (during April last) it was a pleasant day. I remember it was our last viva exam of 1st year B.tech.

We gathered around the viva room and were memorizing topics. All of us were busy in memorizing as much as we could till our turn comes. The place where we were standing was more like pavement having an asbestos roof.

Suddenly, I heard a loud cry and within a blink of an eye it turned out to be so much chaos. “Run, it’s an earthquake!” Everyone was running here and there. I was pushed by my classmates, I fell down and got my knee skinned badly. Somehow, I managed to hold one of my friend’s hand and make my way towards the open area. I stood in the lawn and then what I felt was horrible. I could feel the land beneath my feet was in motion.  A very fast motion! It felt as if there was a wave under my feet.

The height of the wall of the lawn was merely 2ft and we could see it was shaking badly. It felt as if in no time the wall will fall. I must say, the tremors were quite strong and the trees in front of the lawn were shaking. The electric wires fell and there were cracks in the walls.  

This was Darbhanga, a district in North Bihar. North Bihar is very close to Nepal. On that day, a severe earthquake of 7.8 magnitude hit Nepal and many parts of North Bihar were affected by the earthquake. In fact, Bangladesh and some parts of China were also on the list. However, Nepal had heart-drenching damage. Thousands of people went missing and so many went homeless.

I called my parents because the place where I belong to (Madhubani) is closer to Nepal as compared to Darbhanga. After 3 hours, I could connect to my parents, he said it was really scary and the whole house was shaking. One of the walls in our house had cracks. My brother was in school and so my parents were very worried.

That night, we couldn’t sleep. As the area was on high alert and rain didn’t stop. Somehow we managed to sleep for a few hours. The next day was followed by aftershocks of 6.7magnitude. It was for a week but the memory still remains fresh. In fact, on 12th May another aftershock of 7.5 hits.

Those who saw the pictures of Nepal were either in grief or in shock. It took months to restore things but the mental damage remained in everybody’s mind.

Till now, when I think about the earthquake and the floods I have witnessed, I get goosebumps. I know we can’t stop natural calamities but we can take some preventive measures. This way we can save the lives of humans and innocent animals. But still, I have faith in God and I believe he is the one who will protect us from every disaster.

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