The Day The Earth Shook
The April 2015 Nepal earthquake
The April 2015 Nepal earthquake (also known as the Gorkha earthquake) killed more than 8,800 people and injured more than 23,000. It occurred at 11:56 NST on 25 April, with a magnitude of 7.8 or 8.1 and a maximum Mercalli Intensity of IX (Violent). Its epicenter was east of the district of Lamjung, and its hypocenter was at a depth of approximately 15 km (9.3 mi). It was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake.
Reasons For The Disaster
- Nepal is particularly prone to earthquakes. It sits on the boundary of two massive tectonic plates – the Indo-Australian and Asian plates.
- It is the collision of these plates that has produced the Himalaya mountains, and with them, earthquakes.
- According to the research in the Himalaya, is beginning to shed light on these massive processes, and understand the threat they pose to local people.
- Nepal is prone to earthquakes as it sits atop a thrust fault where the India and Eurasia tectonic plates meet
Earthquake in Nepal 2015, CCTV footage
Medical Teams and More Air Shipments of Aid Helping Nepal Earthquake Survivors
More emergency personnel and air shipments of critically needed medicines and supplies are arriving in Kathmandu, following other medical and support staff led by the first AmeriCares India team that responded within 48 hours to the worst earthquake in Nepal in 80 years. In the immediate disaster response phase, AmeriCares has mobilized medical teams and provided critical medicines and supplies to frontline health workers, with early recovery planning focusing on rebuilding health systems.
- Concern was expressed that harvests could be reduced or lost this season as people affected by the earthquake would have only a short time to plant crops before the onset of theMonsoon rains.
- Nepal, with a total Gross Domestic Product of USD$19.921 billion (according to a 2012 estimate), is one of Asia's poorest countries, and has little ability to fund a major reconstruction effort on its own.
- Even before the quake, the Asian Development Bankestimated that it would need to spend about four times more than it currently does annually on infrastructure through to 2020 to attract investment.
- The ADB said on the 28th that it would provide a USD$3 million grant to Nepal for immediate relief efforts, and up to USD$200 million for the first phase of rehabilitation.
What measures should be taken by the people if caught in an earthquake of large magnitude?
If you are indoors:
- Stay inside.
- Drop under heavy furniture such as a table, desk, bed or any solid furniture.
- Cover your head and torso to prevent being hit by falling objects.
- Hold on to the object that you are under so that you remain covered. Be prepared to move with the object until the shaking has finished.
- If you can't get under something strong, or if you are in a hallway, flatten yourself or crouch against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms.
- If you are in a shopping mall, go into the nearest store. Stay away from windows, and shelves with heavy objects.
- If you are at school, get under a desk or table and hold on. Face away from windows.
- If you are in a wheelchair, lock the wheels and protect the back of your head and neck.
If you are outdoors
- Stay outside.
- Go to an open area away from buildings. The most dangerous place is near exterior walls.
- If you are in a crowded public place, take cover where you won't be trampled.
- Pull over to a safe place where you are not blocking the road. Keep roads clear for rescue and emergency vehicles.
- Avoid bridges, overpasses, underpasses, buildings or anything that could collapse.
- Stop the car and stay inside.
- Listen to your car radio for instructions from emergency officials.
- Do not attempt to get out of your car if downed power lines are across it. Wait to be rescued.
- Place a HELP sign in your window if you need assistance.
- If you are on a bus, stay in your seat until the bus stops. Take cover in a protected place. If you can't take cover, sit in a crouched position and protect your head from falling debris.
Challenges faced by the rescue team
- Aid groups and governments intensified efforts to help Nepal on Sunday after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the capital Kathmandu and surrounding areas the day before.
- European, Asian and North American governments sent emergency response teams to Nepal as the country struggles to cope with the disaster. However, blocked roads, collapsed buildings, and continuing aftershocks pose major setbacks for emergency crews searching for survivors in the capital and cut-off rural areas.
- Approximately 6.6 million people live in areas affected by the earthquake, UN emergency aid spokesman Jens Laerke told the DPA news agency from Geneva, adding that it is still too early to tell how many of them need immediate aid.