Saturday, April 25, 2015

Nepal Seeks Help After Devastating Quake, Over 1,500 Killed (Rural Areas Not Accounted For)

Nepal Seels Help, Death Toll Seen Rising After Quake

Nepal urged countries to send aid to help it cope with the aftermath of a devastating earthquake that killed nearly 1,400 people, a toll predicted to rise as rescuers used their hands to dig for survivors among the rubble on Sunday.

Thousands of people braved freezing temperatures and patchy rain to sleep on pavements, in parks or in fields in the crowded Kathmandu valley, too afraid to return to homes damaged by a 7.9 magnitude quake which struck at midday on Saturday.

"We have launched a massive rescue and rehabilitation action plan and lots needs to be done," said Information and Broadcasting Minister Minendra Rijal.

"Our country is in a moment of crisis and we will require tremendous support and aid," he told Indian television.
Foreign climbers and their Nepalese guides around Mount Everest were caught by the tremors and a huge avalanche. Some took to social media to send desperate messages for assistance, warning that otherwise more people would die.

Hospitals across the impoverished nation of 28 million people struggled to cope with the dead and injured from Nepal's worst quake in 81 years, and a lack of equipment meant rescuers could look no deeper than surface rubble for signs of life.

Kathmandu's Bir Hospital had so far received 300 to 350 patients with serious injuries, and most of them died, said paramedic Dinesh Chaudhary. He said the hospital was running out of supplies and were procuring medicines from shops outside.
Ramesh Pokharel, a staff member of the Bhaktapur Hospital on the outskirts of Kathmandu, said that around 50 bodies were lying in a field outside.

Doctors were treating patients in a tent next to Bhaktapur hospital's main building, and staff were too busy to count or register names of the casualties.

"It's chaos here," Pokharel said.
The earthquake, centered 50 miles (80 km) east of the second city, Pokhara, was all the more destructive for being shallow.

Areas of Kathmandu were reduced to rubble, and rescue operations had still not begun in some remote areas.

Among the capital's landmarks destroyed in the earthquake was the 60-metre-high (100-foot) Dharahara Tower, built in 1832 for the queen of Nepal, with a viewing balcony that had been open to visitors for the last 10 years.

A jagged stump 10 meters high was all that was left of the lighthouse-like structure. As bodies were pulled from the ruins, a policeman said up to 200 people had been trapped inside.
Neighboring India, where 44 people were reported killed in the quake and its aftershocks, was first to respond to calls for help, sending military aircraft with medical equipment and relief teams.

The Indian embassy in Nepal said 285 members of the National Disaster Response Force had been sent to assist the Nepalese army in the rescue effort.

Aid groups readied staff to go to Nepal with supplies to provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food, while the United States, Britain and Pakistan were among countries providing search-and-rescue experts.

An Indian army mountaineering team found 18 bodies on Mount Everest, where an avalanche unleashed by the earthquake swept through base camp. More than 1,000 climbers had gathered there at the start of the climbing season.

A tourism official, Mohan Krishna Sapkota, said it was "hard to even assess what the death toll and the extent of damage" around Everest could be.
"The trekkers are scattered all around the base camp and some had even trekked further up. It is almost impossible to get in touch with anyone."

Around 300,000 foreign tourists were estimated to be in various parts of Nepal for the spring trekking and climbing season in the Himalayas, and officials were overwhelmed by calls from concerned friends and relatives.

Romanian climber Alex Gavan tweeted that there had been a "huge earthquake then huge avalanche" at Everest base camp, forcing him to run for his life.

More than 1,500 people are believed to have died in a powerful earthquake that struck Nepal, which destroyed buildings across the region
The quake measured 7.8 and struck an area between the capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara, the US Geological Survey said.
It's been most devastating around the epicentre in Gurkha and Lumjung. At least 10 people - mostly climbers - have been killed on Mount Everest.

Update 23:24 UTC : Almost daylight in Nepal. We expect new numbers within a couple of hours. the outlook for ruaral villages in the epicenter area looks very grim as most roads are swept away on many locations. Only a lot of helicopters may do the job but Nepal has only a few of them.
Update 22:58 UTC : #Google confirms executive @danfredinburg was killed on the Everest. He was hiking the mountain with 3 other Googlers who are safe.
Update 22:16 UTC : HONG KONG, APR 25 – China has expressed its deep sorrow over the deadly earthquake that claimed hundreds of lives on Saturday. It has pledged all kinds of assistance to Nepal at this time of emergency. It is sending 65 trained personnel along with necessary kits in a special plane on Sunday. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed such to Nepali mission in China .
ER considers China as by far the most skilled SAR teams in the Himalayan region. We hope more will be done than the current effort.
Update 22:10 UTC : Rockfall and avalanches caused 10 fatalities in the Everest Base Camp valley and slopes (Nepali media)
Update 21:54 UTC : Professor Max Wyss, who specializes in theoretical prognoses of injuries and fatalities made a new calculation this evening : We do not want to publish his new data as the outcome is too cruel. Let’s hope that he miscalculated today’s earthquake.
Update 21:46 UTC : It is currently raining heavily in the epicenter zone, making the misery for the people even worde. Aftershocks, though weaker, are still being felt.

How did it all happen ?
The April 25, 2015 M 7.8 Nepal earthquake occurred as the result of thrust faulting on or near the main frontal thrust between the subducting India plate and the overriding Eurasia plate to the north. At the location of this earthquake, approximately 80 km to the northwest of the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, the India plate is converging with Eurasia at a rate of 45 mm/yr towards the north-northeast, driving the uplift of the Himalayan mountain range. The preliminary location, size and focal mechanism of the April 25 earthquake are consistent with its occurrence on the main subduction thrust interface between the India and Eurasia plates.
Although a major plate boundary with a history of large-to-great sized earthquakes, large earthquakes on the Himalayan thrust are rare in the documented historical eraJust four events of M6 or larger have occurred within 250 km of the April 25, 2015 earthquake over the past century. One, a M 6.9 earthquake in August 1988, 240 km to the southeast of the April 25 event, caused close to 1500 fatalities. 
The largest, an M 8.0 event known as the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake, occurred in a similar location to the 1988 event. It severely damaged Kathmandu, and is thought to have caused around 10,600 fatalities.


Waterer said...

This all makes me feel so sad. Praying hard for the freezing,grieving ,frightened and lost Napalis and all who are there.

AudioOutlaw said...

I have a friend in Nepal right now. He was doing photography for a wedding at Mt Everest. He is ok but 14 people in his camp have died.