A major earthquake has struck Christchurch, New Zealand, where a cliff has collapsed into the sea.
Another major earthquake in the Himalayan Mountains may be imminent, according to new research that suggests the 7.8-magnitude quake that devastated Nepal in April failed to release all of the region’s seismic energy.
For over five centuries, seismic tension has been building beneath the Himalayas as India gradually shifts northward into the continent. In recent decades, a segment of the narrowing fault line between the Indian and Eurasian Plates became locked by friction, intensifying the buildup of energy that culminated in the April 25 earthquake.
The good news, scientists say, is that the quake, which left between 8,000 and 9,000 dead in Nepal and its border countries, could have been significantly worse. When the stress finally broke the fault, at an epicenter about 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, the expense of energy traveled to the east, opening only the fault’s shorter eastern stretch, according to two concurrent studies published Thursday…
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On April 25, Nepal was devastated by a massive earthquake measuring 7.8 on the richter scale, which killed thousands and displaced millions.
Now, the Nepalese need to rebuild what was lost—most importantly, their homes and key facilities like healthcare and education. And that is the toughest part.
According to the Nepal government, the tiny Himalayan country is staring at losses estimated at about $10 billion—nearly half of its gross domestic product of $19.2 billion.
Two organisations—Global Shelter Cluster and the REACH Initiative—surveyed about 1,680 households in the 14 districts that were worst affected by the earthquake, about their living conditions after the earthquake.
The preliminary results are staggering. Around 68% of displaced households are living in areas adjacent to their damaged homes, where access to sanitation, education, healthcare and clean drinking water is severely curtailed.
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The initial estimates of the economic damage caused by the April 25 earthquake in Nepal are in—and the numbers are staggering.
The overall damage is estimated to be at about $10 billion, according to the Nepal government—nearly half of its gross domestic product (GDP) of $19.2 billion. According to IHS Global Insights, a research firm, the estimated cost for rebuilding homes, roads and bridges alone could run up to $5 billion.
For Nepal—one of the poorest countries in the world—rebuilding its ravaged economy will be particularly difficult after it suffered years of slow growth.
The country’s finance minister, Ram Sharan Mahat, said earlier this week that Nepal urgently needs short-term funding, while the government begins work on chalking out a long-term plan.
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