When natural disaster strikes: Facebook and the illusion of safety

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I sat on the tiny swell of a hill behind my hotel, waiting for the four-story building to crumble into dust and take me with it. And then I would be gone — one moment here, the next moment not.

This was not how I’d imagined the trip to Nepal would go. I was there to report on health and development — under-covered issues in Nepal, international coverage of which tends to focus on Everest and natural disasters. I was too numb to acknowledge the irony.

I knew no one else in the garden, and I had no idea where my coworkers were. I was utterly alone in a sea of strangers as shaken as I was. And I had no way to reach my loved ones; I’d left my phone and my laptop in my hotel room. I wondered if it was safe enough to venture back inside. Read more…

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