The Quake and Af­ter

Southasia - - FEATURE NEPAL -

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.

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