27 April 2015
The powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on 25 April 2015 is the worst since 1934 and is once again a painful reminder of how vulnerable communities are to the destructive force of nature.
Striking less than 80 kilometres northwest of Kathmandu, the earthquake has left thousands dead and affected 4.5 million people. It destroyed many homes and buildings in the Kathmandu Valley including the famous nine-storey Dharahara Tower. The US Geological Survey estimates the cost of damage to be between US$100 million and $10 billion. As the international community responds through both civilian and military means, cooperation will be essential.
There are around 1.5 million people who live in the Kathmandu Valley – one of the world’s most earthquake-prone areas. Despite countless prior warnings from scientists and risk assessment studies, there is limited local capacity to carry out search-and-rescue missions with reports of rescuers using their bare hands to dig out bodies. This tragedy once again underlines the importance of robust disaster management plans and effective global and regional humanitarian cooperation mechanisms to respond effectively to those in need.
… Mely Caballero-Anthony is Associate Professor and Head of the RSIS’ Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS), Alistair D. B. Cook is Research Fellow and Coordinator of the newly-established Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Programme, and Julius Cesar Trajano is a Senior Research Analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
GPO / NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 18/11/2015