EERI Reconnaissance Team Begins Work in Nepal

June 6, 2015 by  
Filed under EERI Updates

Dr Thomas Kirsch and Surya Narayan Shrestha at Bir Hospital, a large complex with six medical buildings, staffing quarters, and other support structures in Kathmandu (Photo by Judy Mitrani-Reiser)

Dr Thomas Kirsch and Surya Narayan Shrestha at Bir Hospital, a large complex with six medical buildings, staffing quarters, and other support structures in Kathmandu (Photo by Judy Mitrani-Reiser)

EERI’s initial reconnaissance mission to study the effects of the April 25, 2015 Gorkha earthquake is underway.

The team’s first day was spent in coordination and strategy sessions with various colleagues in Kathmandu. The National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET) arranged a meeting with representatives from Nepalese agencies responsible for response and recovery from many sectors, including schools, cultural heritage sites, and lifelines. The team also held a coordination meeting with members from the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Team B1, who made time to collaborate, share their insights, and provide travel recommendations. This information proved extremely valuable to the team, and is greatly appreciated by EERI.

The EERI team split into four subgroups June 1–4, to observe earthquake impacts in Sindhupalchok, Gorkha and Dolakha Districts.

A hospital observation team is traveling in impacted communities and hospital facilities in the Gorkha District, June 2–3, and to the Sindhupalchok District on June 4. Team members include Judy Mitrani-Reiser, Hari Kumar, and Surya Narayan Shrestha, along with colleague Dr. Thomas Kirsch of Johns Hopkins University Departments of International Health and Emergency Medicine.

Team members Bret Lizundia, Courtney Welton-Mitchell, Jan Kupec, Suraj Shrestha, and Hemant Kaushik, along with colleague and social worker Rubina Awale, are traveling in Sindhupalchok. The team has visited the communities of Banepa and Dhulikhel on the way to Chautara, where it will conduct a detailed study of impacts before returning to Kathmandu on June 3.

Team members John Bevington, Ganesh Kumar Jimee, and Kishor Jaiswal, along with GEER colleague Chris Madden Madugo, are studying community impacts and landslides in the Dolakha District. Jan Kupec will join this team on June 3. The group plans to visit Charikot in Bhimeshwor Municipality and travel towards Singati on June 4 before returning to Kathmandu the next day.

Team members Chris Poland and Rachel Davidson, with a colleague from NSET, spent June 1–2 in the Kathmandu Valley holding meetings with Build Change and other nonprofit groups conducting recovery efforts. The team plans to travel to Chautara Municipality on June 3 to observe resilience issues, especially surrounding lifeline performance, and return to Kathmandu later that evening.

Despite limited bandwidth, team members have managed to submit several geolocated images now posted to the data map and photo gallery on the Nepal virtual clearinghouse site:

View data map on Nepal Earthquake virtual clearinghouse

View the photo gallery on the Nepal Earthquake virtual clearinghouse

Nepal Earthquake virtual clearinghouse data map, with geotagged reconnaissance information.

Nepal Earthquake virtual clearinghouse data map, with geotagged reconnaissance information.

Upon the team‘s return from the field, with support from their virtual team collaborators, full image collections will be posted on the clearinghouse website.

EERI’s initial reconnaissance mission will conclude with activities in Kathmandu and the surrounding valley from June 4–8, 2015.

Questions about the Learning from Earthquakes program and EERI reconnaissance activities may be directed to Heidi Tremayne: heidi@eeri.org

 

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