The Quake and After
The 2015 Nepal earthquake, also called the Gorkha earthquake and Nepal Greater Earthquake, occurred on April 25, 2015. It recorded 7.8 on the Richter scale and its epicenter lay in Barpak village of Gorkha district.
It was the most powerful disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal– Bihar earthquake. Casualties were also reported in the adjoining areas of India, China and Bangladesh.
The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least 19, making it the deadliest day on the mountain in history. It triggered a huge avalanche in Langtang valley.
Geophysicists and other experts had warned for decades that Nepal was vulnerable to a deadly earthquake, particularly because of its geology, urbanization and architecture.
Nepal, with a total Gross Domestic Product of USD$19.921 billion 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 Bank estimated that it would need to spend about four times more than it currently does annually on infrastructure through 2020 to attract investment.
The U.S. Geological Survey initially estimated economic losses from the earthquake at 9 percent to 50 percent of gross domestic product. “It’s too hard for now to tell the extent of the damage and the effect on Nepal’s GDP,” said Hun Kim, an Asian Development Bank official. The ADB said 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.