Langtang Village Before and After Earthquake

Langtang Village Before and After Earthquake

Langtang Valley is a famous trekking destination in Nepal, combining picturesque landscapes, snow-capped mountains, and the unique culture of the locals. As an ideal destination for trekkers around the world, Langtang Valley attracts thousands of tourists each year.

Langtang Village Before Earthquake:

Life in Langtang Village was good. The local people, mainly comprising Tamang, Sherpa, and Gurung, would wake up early, finish their household chores, take their yaks and mules to graze, and head to the field. Many villagers operated lodges for trekkers, as trekkers from around the world come to the region. Some villagers worked as Langtang Valley trek guides and porters, earning good incomes.

Langtang was gradually attracting more and more travelers, both foreign and domestic, turning homestays into lodges, increasing locals’ earnings, and introducing more facilities. The locals found Langtang Lirung more attractive as it kept attracting trekkers. Yak and mule herds in the valley beautified the place, while Gompas attracted tourists and Buddhist devotees alike. Among the Buddhist shrines, Kyanjin Gompa was becoming more popular. It seemed like all was going well.

That was until the 25th of April 2015. Who knew their world would come tumbling down in a matter of seconds.

The beautiful Langtang Valley carries a lot of pain within her. When the devastating quake hit Nepal in April of 2015, the entire country shook with fear. Thousands of aftershocks followed the quake for months. People lost their lives, homes came tumbling down, and basic supplies were lacking everywhere. Langtang Valley was one of the worst-hit areas.

A teenager from Langtang Village who survived the disaster relived the moment, “It was not the quake that accounted for the complete damage, the avalanche that followed was what buried the entire village under rubble.” The beautiful Langtang Valley was utterly destroyed. Within a minute, the village entirely vanished under a mudslide of sand, snow, boulders, and huge rocks. Almost everyone died.

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Langtang Village on the day of earthquake-triggered avalanche:

It was April 25, 2015. The day before, people had celebrated Ghawa – a yearly Buddhist ceremony. All the villagers had gathered to sing and dance, including people from neighboring villages. They drank, sang, and danced.

As the celebration had lasted until midnight, the next day was a bit different from normal. People stayed in bed longer than usual. But the day looked just like another normal day of Spring as the sun rose higher. The villagers were busy with their work.

Some trekkers had already continued their trek towards their destination, while some were resting and enjoying the heavenly environment. Some of them were getting ready to head towards their destination.

The clock struck 11:55, and the unexpected happened. The violent shaking of the land made everyone panic and run for their lives. People who were in their house fled outside running. Those who were on the field saw something disastrous was coming towards them. The violent quake resulted in a massive avalanche. It looked like the entire mountain came crumbling down.

The village, which was a popular stop for thousands of travelers over the years, was home to more than 400 people and buried in ruins. Most of the villagers and travelers lost their lives. Within a minute, Langtang Village turned into tattered remains.

A single house stood partly, and only a very few were lucky to survive the incident. Those who survived were mourning their missing loved ones. Some were frantically searching for their loved ones, most of whose efforts were in vain.

The aftershocks continued for days, with small pieces of loose rocks and snow continuing to fall as a result of the aftershocks. Fear remained among the survivors, but gradually, rescue work began to gain momentum. Survivors and rescuers started rescuing victims from the site, recovering many bodies from the mudslide.

Rescuers evacuated villagers by local helicopters to safer villages, and injured people were taken to hospitals, while the search for survivors and bodies continued for days.

After a few days, authorities called off search and rescue attempts due to the constant risk of aftershocks, landslides, and avalanches.

Langtang Village After Earthquake:

It has already been more than 7 years since the tragedy (7 years as of editing this post in early 2023), and several foreign researchers have studied the region, marking the Langtang Region safe. Trekkers have begun trekking to Langtang Valley again.

Villagers have built a new village near the buried one, and as the village gradually began picking up the pieces, life is returning to normal. Barren fields are turning into green pastures again, and yaks can be seen grazing there. Tea houses have been rebuilt, and the village has somehow been reconstructed.

As tourism took some time to return to normal in the Langtang Region, locals found it hard to survive there. Now, more than three years later, trekkers have started to flow into Langtang, and teahouses are again filled with travelers during peak seasons. Locals have started to earn again to meet their needs.

Although the pain will remain for their lives, locals have slowly begun to smile again. The Sherpas, Tamangs, and other communities living there are gradually reconstructing the villages again.

That said, the locals are still facing difficulty leading their lives. Parts of their cultivable land are now covered in stones and boulders, and they have spent a lot of money rebuilding their homes and other structures. They have lost their loved ones, and most of them have had to start their lives from scratch.

What can we do to help the locals of Langtang Valley?

Nepal received a lot of support after the earthquake, but aid poorly reached the victims. If you send money or materials to the people of Langtang Valley, you never know if your support will reach the needy ones or not.

Instead, it’s better to trek to Langtang Village with your friends or family during your vacation. This will help them to live on their own and improve their economic condition.

The hopeful locals have cleared the trails and rebuilt lodges, and are waiting for trekkers. Now, they have two sides to show you – the ravishing Langtang world and the pain that it carries. Why not pay them a visit?

If you are interested in the trek, you can visit Langtang Village with us or contact us for more information about the trek to Langtang Valley.

Want more information? Send us your query, and our experts will get back to you within 24 hrs.

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