I just experienced my first earthquake. We were all over at Mama’s (maternal uncle) house; Tri, Mama, Tri’s 3-year-old cousin, and I were on the roof, looking over the city, and the water tank started to shake. Mama yelled buichaalo ayo! “It’s an earthquake!” and grabbed Tri’s cousin.
I didn’t know what buichaalo meant; I thought it was some kind of animal, so I started looking around the roof. Then we heard Tri’s brother yelling at us from outside of the house. “Come down!” he was saying in Nepali. I finally figured out what was going on, and Tri, Mama, and I started running down the stairs.
The whole house was shaking. Once we made it outside, we saw all of the other neighbors had come out too. We stood around, shocked, but after a few minutes decided that it was safe to go back in.
When we got back inside, we turned on the news and found out it had hit much of northern South Asia. Sikkim was at the center. We’re watching the news right now, and there’s been some damage in Kathmandu, and at least three people died. It’s apparently the biggest earthquake in 80 years and lasted for about 30-40 seconds. Here’s some more information from US Geological Survey.
Update: Here’s an article from The New York Times about the quake. It reports 6 dead in Nepal and a total of 91 people in India, Tibet, and Nepal.