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Animals sensed earthquake first

Ajith Athrady, New Delhi, Apr 26, 2015, DHNS: 0:56 IST
Sniffer dog 'Cooper', along with 7 rescue dogs and 51 doctors, medics and logistical experts, flew to Nepal from Germany on Sunday.  Reuters
Animals sensed the earthquake in advance in Nepal on Saturday as minutes before the quake hit, monkeys, dogs and cattle behaved strangely, said survivors.

“As we were shopping near Pashupatinath temple, suddenly the monkeys in the nearby trees started behaving oddly by screeching and jumping from one branch to another. As we looked at the trees curiously, suddenly the earth started shaking,” said Srimati, a resident of BTM Layout from Bangalore. “We also saw a large number of birds flying with loud chirping a few seconds before the earthquake,” she recalled.

Srimati, who came to Nepal on pilgrimage with her husband Balaji, said “The birds must have sensed first about the tragedy and their bizarre behaviour indicated something was wrong.”

“Dogs too behaved peculiarly. When we are at the Buddha Stupa in Kathmandu, a lot of dogs were seen howling. Immediately, the earth started shaking and we virtually struggled to stand our ground,” said M Sudamani, a former lecturer of KLE College, Rajajinagar.

Though the first tremor, which occurred on Saturday at 11.45 am stopped after a few seconds, the dogs were still seen running about and howling, she said adding that “maybe they were indicating more aftershocks”.

The earth shook so much, it was difficult to stand. Several people were seen collapsing while moving as the earth was virtually swinging. On the roads, several bikes skidded and hit pedestrians, Sudamani, a former television anchor, said.

Over 110 survivors from Karnataka, who returned to the national capital by a Indian Air Force special flight from Nepal on Sunday, are now on their way back home.

Shocked after seeing buildings collapse like a pack of cards and people buried alive, roads cracking up, falling electric poles, the survivors are eager to get back home.

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