When Nepal’s worst earthquake in 80 years hit around noon on April 25, the country’s prime minister Sushil Koirala was reportedly flying to Bangkok for a personal medical treatment, after attending the Asian-African summit in Indonesia.
It gets more absurd—he apparently only found out about the catastrophic earthquake, which has so far killed over 5,000 people, after he read a tweet by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.
At least this is the version of events that Nepal’s foreign minister, Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, gave to Indian news agency IANS on April 28. “Then we started seeking details,” Pandey added. ”We called Nepal and got updates regularly. I was also informed about the quake after going through Modi’s Twitter account.”
Inquiries about the chain of events sent to the Nepal foreign minister’s office by e-mail and through social media were not immediately answered.
The unusual incident—where a country’s prime minister is informed of a massive natural disaster at home through the Twitter account of a neighbouring counterpart, instead of his own staff—was seemingly corroborated by Modi himself on April 27.
At an event in New Delhi, the Indian prime minister said that Koirala told him in a telephone call that Modi’s tweet had been his first source of information.
At 12.23pm (local time), Modi’s personal Twitter handle sent this out:
So, to recap: The prime minister of a country of 28 million people only learned of a devastating earthquake at home more than 40 minutes after it hit—via Twitter.