Lessons of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake Disaster

Dr. Sujan Malla of Axpo Power AG provides a short report on the effects of the 7.8 Mw Earthquake of 25 April 2015 and its aftershocks, including photo documentation.

When the 7.8 Mw earthquake struck on 25 April 2015 (Saturday), the author was with his family at the Safari Narayani Hotel on the bank of the Rapti river bordering the Chitwan National Park in south Nepal. Although the ground shaking lasted there for more than one minute, it was relatively moderate and did not cause any visible structural damage. As the main highway via Mugling was blocked by a massive landslide, the author returned to Kathmandu via the old and winding Tribhuvan Highway two days after the main shock. Along the highway, there were many small and large rockfalls (see Photo 1) and also the first collapsed stone masonry buildings could be seen (see Photo 19 and Photo 20). After arriving in the Kathmandu Valley, the author went around the three main cities of Kathmandu, Lalitpur (Patan) and Bhaktapur to make a photo documentation of the earthquake damage to buildings and historical structures.

In this short report (which should be considered as a discussion paper), some lessons are drawn and some questions are raised based on the author’s personal observations and discussions with many people in Nepal. The appendix at the end of the report contains the author’s photo documentation of the damage caused by the main shock of 25 April 2015. It consists of a selection of the photos taken by the author from 27 April to 1 May 2015, prior to possible further damage by the strong aftershock of 12 May 2015. This report will hopefully make a small contribution towards the improvement of the disaster preparedness in Nepal before the next big earthquake arrives.

His report is here: Lessons of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake Disaster, short report by Sujan Malla


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