EERI Reconnaissance Team Wraps Up Mission in Nepal

June 10, 2015 by  
Filed under EERI Updates

Damage to heritage sites in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan is less than some media reports have implied, but still significant. Nearly 750 monuments were damaged by the April 25, 2015 earthquake and its aftershocks, with approximately half collapsed. (Photo by EERI team member Suraj Shrestha.)

Damage to heritage sites in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan is less than some media reports have implied, but still significant. Nearly 750 monuments were damaged by the April 25, 2015 earthquake and its aftershocks, with approximately half collapsed. (Photo by EERI team member Suraj Shrestha.)

The EERI Reconnaissance Team concluded their nine-day mission in Nepal on June 8. After visiting outlying regions, the team finished its reconnaissance with meetings and detailed observations in Nepal’s capital city, Kathmandu, and the surrounding valley.

Colleagues at the Nepal Department of Education provided a special tour of several retrofitted schools, where team members learned about the retrofit program and met with both administrators and masons responsible for the projects. The program’s success was evident both in the observed performance of the retrofitted buildings, and the stakeholders’ positive attitudes towards seismically resistant construction practices.

 The Department of Education has report that approximately 250 schools were retrofitted prior to the earthquake and generally performed well during the April-May earthquakes. The team visited three retrofitted schools including one in Nandikeshwor and two in Sanhku. (Photo by EERI team leader Bret Lizundia.)

The Department of Education has report that approximately 250 schools were retrofitted prior to the earthquake and generally performed well during the April-May earthquakes. The team visited three retrofitted schools including one in Nandikeshwor and two in Sanhku. (Photo by EERI team leader Bret Lizundia.)

Team members visited numerous lifeline agencies and providers, reporting new insights on resilience. Members who visited hospitals during the trip have similarly noted many lessons and best practices transferable to other countries around the world. Architectural heritage structures yielded interesting observations expanding and enhancing what had been reported in international media coverage.

As a final team activity before the team’s departure, the National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET) arranged a meeting with more than 60 representatives from Nepalese government departments and agencies. The team shared preliminary observations, insights, and discussed strategies to aid recovery and rebuilding.

On return to their homes, team members, with support from their Virtual Team Collaborators, will process photographs and data for uploading to EERI’s data map.

A briefing on the reconnaissance trip and its findings will likely be presented in mid July. Members will be notified of the time and date of any webcast scheduled for the briefing.

A published report on the EERI trip, findings, and recommendations will be released in the fall.

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