From a human perspective, the Richter scale isn't all that great. It measures the energy, which is then divided by the area affected. A localized quake of 1 would utterly obliterate a block, and a 12 that hit an entire hemisphere evenly (OK, that can't really happen, but...) probably wouldn't knock stuff off shelves.
This particular one, I understand, was pretty deep, so it hit a wide area, dividing the energy.
Earthquakes, deadly or not, are newsworthy. When the ground moves, that upsets what we feel as the natural order of things. Just plain weird. I've been in three of them, and it stays weird. And when they happen in places you know, places where you are, places where you know people, places you have been, the weirdness is personal.
Sure, there are more relevant news stories to be covered. But do you think that, if they weren't covering the Seattle quake the TV networks would be covering the relief efforts surrounding the India quake? As for being covered here, hey, if anybody on K5 was in India at the time and cares to write up the experience, I'll certainly vote it up.
What happens to people we know and places we are familiar with is usualy more interesting to us than the same things happening to strangers and unfamilar, far places. That's just how people are. We would be better people if we cared as much about India as we do about Seattle. But the newspeople sell to us as we are, not as we should be. And as for K5, I'm thinking a first-hand report from India, or even a well-informed and personal second-hand report would be well received. But I also think those in a position to write such a report have more important matters to attend to at this point, like keeping each other alive.
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase