Terrible earthquake in Nepal, but the death toll right now seems low...the problem? It is a poor country, and mud-brick or adobe houses will collapse, meaning a lot of small village and rural folks were probably killed. There are photos on the internetn such as this one showing the collapse of multistory "modern" buildings ... I doubt they are competently reinforced.
And no, I don't feel sorry about the hikers caught in avalanches. The whole "Mt Everest" thing is a status symbol for yuppies. The bad news is that the sherpas are pushed into helping them by dire poverty.
Nepal is often seen by these ecotourists as shangri la, but if it is so wonderful, why all those communist "insurgents" and why do so many leave to work elsewhere?
For that matter, why is Tibet still a "hardship zone" for Chinese developmental workers such as teachers?
no links, but yesterday someone wrote that the reason that so many are fleeing to Europe via North Africa was global warming. He's right, of course. The Sahara was a lush grasslands only 8000 years ago. So they are fleeing to get jobs to support their families, and the political unrest in North Africa lets the terrorist/criminal element who know how to smuggle guns and drugs make money off of people smuggling too.
So for all the criticism of "globalization", the dirty little secret is that "traditional society" was hell, especially for women. And if the natives looked so happy, maybe it was because their culture mandates looking happy and their religion sees suffering as a payback for being bad in your last life, so grit your teeth and smile. Or maybe go to India to get a job so your kids can be educated and have a better life. Or maybe support the communist Guerrilla movement.
Speaking of the local "insurgents": They often get weapons from China, (as do their counterparts in nearby tribal India), so it is nice to see that China is sending aid, as is nearby India. LINK
Sigh. In my prayers. I'd send money but I am essentially broke, and try to give locally.
we are on an earthquake fault, so when I see the office part of our compound, I shudder. Yes it is reinforced, but a powerful earthquake could flatten it, and if a "big one" hits Manila (one is overdue) the death toll would be staggering and we'd probably be getting lots of refugees.