LIPING, Nepal -- The small village of Liping, just next to Nepal's border with Tibet, is still reeling from the impact of a series of devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal from April 25, 2015.
The highway that runs through the village, once the main northern border crossing with China, remains essentially closed 11 months after the quake. The road is still strewn with rocks and debris and China has all but closed the border gateway. Cross-border traffic has now been routed through Rasuwagadhi-Kerung, north of Nepal's capital, Kathmandu.
Liping village, once a busy trading center for traders and business people from China, India and Nepal, today looks like a ghost town. Around 75% of the population of about 350 households left Liping and moved to nearby villages or to Kathmandu.
Although the Nepalese government says it is now "assessing" the extent of the damage, the area appears virtually untouched since the earthquake and after-tremors destroyed buildings and roads. Local people , who relied mainly on trade and tourism for their livelihoods, have little to do since China closed the border crossing in the aftermath of the quake.
Chinese authorities are said to be concerned about the safety of trucks and cars driving through the area, due to the increased prospect of further landslides on the roads as the rainy season approaches.
The Liping villagers are struggling to survive on a daily basis, relying on community spirit to keep them going through troubled times. But the going is tougher than ever, as the steady exodus of locals illustrates. The main problem, according to locals, many of who reside in damaged dwellings, is official neglect and apathy. On top of that is the ever-present threat of more landslides or worse, another quake.
For the survivors in Liping, that would be the last straw. But one year after the quake, a follow-up visit showed that few people here have options other than to get by as best they can - and wait, as they have for a full year, for official help to rebuild their lives and revive commerce.
As highlighted in the accompanying photos, Liping's residence amid the destitution continue to show resilience, courage and above all, hope.