Report on the humanitarian situation of the Nepal Earthquakes

By   May 21, 2015

The April 2015 Nepal earthquake (also known as the Gorkha quake) killed more than 8,000 people and injured more than 19,000. Its epicenter was the hamlet of Barpak, Gorkha district, and its hypocenter was at a depth of about 15 km (9.3 mi). It was the worst natural disaster to strike against Nepal since the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake. The quake triggered an avalanche killing at least 19, making it the deadliest day on the mountain in history. Where 250 were reported missing, it triggered another enormous avalanche in the Langtang valley.

Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless with entire villages flattened, across many districts of the state. Centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley. Geophysicists and other experts had warned that Nepal was not invulnerable to a deadly quake, especially because of urbanization, its geology, and structures.

Continuing aftershocks occurred throughout Nepal within 15-20 minute periods, with one shock reaching a magnitude of 6.7 on 26 April at 12:54:08 NST The state also had a continuing threat of landslides. Another major earthquake happened on 12 May 2015 at 12:35 NST with a moment magnitude (Mw) of 7.3. The epicenter was near the Chinese border between the capital of Kathmandu and Mt. Everest.

Another important quake occurred in Nepal on 12 May 2015 at 12:50 pm local time (7:05 am UTC) with a moment magnitude of 7.3, 18 km (11 mi) southeast of Kodari. The epicenter was about the border of Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk, two districts of Nepal. This earthquake occurred on exactly the same mistake as the larger magnitude 7.8 earthquake of 25 April, but further east than the initial quake. As such, it is thought of as an aftershock of the 25 April quake. It struck in a depth of 18.5 kilometres (11.5 mi). Shaking was felt in northern areas of India including Uttar Pradesh Bihar and West Bengal. Tremors were felt as far as about 2400 kilometers from the epicenter in Chennai.

Minutes later, another 6.3 magnitude earthquake strike Nepal with its epicenter in Ramechhap, east of Kathmandu. The quake was felt in Bangladesh, China and many other states in India. The impact of those tremors was felt 1,000 kilometres away in the Indian capital New Delhi, where buildings shook and office workers evacuated .

In Nepal, at least 117 people were killed by the earthquake and more than 2,500 people were injured, primarily in mountain regions of the northeast. As of 15 May, 1,700 people were still receiving treatment for their injuries. Thirty-two of the nation’s seventy-five districts were changed by the quake. As people fled buildings, the streets were quickly filled. Within hours of the quake, tents started to fill open areas of the city as residents were scared to go back indoors. The district of Sindhupalchowk, which was likewise hit in the initial quake, was among the worst affected regions. Between both quakes, 95% of the places houses were ruined. Areas around Mount Everest saw fresh damage.