Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and is therefore classed as a low income country. It is located between China and India in Asia along the Himalayan Mountains.
A map to show the location of Nepal in Asia
At 11.26 on Saturday 25th of April 2015 a magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck Nepal. The focus was only eight kilometres deep and the epicentre was just 60 kilometres north-west from the capital Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. It’s a city of 700,000 inhabitants and is popular with tourists planning to treck in Himalayas, home of Mount Everest.
What caused the Nepal Earthquake?
The earthquake occurred on a collision plate boundary between the Indian and Eurasian plates.
- Centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, including some at the Changu Narayan Temple and the Dharahara Tower.
- Thousands of houses were destroyed across many districts of the country.
Social and economic
- 8,632 dead and 19,009 injured.
- It was Nepal’s worst earthquake in more than 80 years.
- People chose to sleep outside in cold temperatures due to the risk of aftershocks causing damaged buildings to collapse.
- Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless with entire villages flattened.
- Harvests were reduced or lost that season.
- Economic losses were estimated to be between nine per cent to 50 per cent of GDP by The United States Geological Survey (USGS).
- Tourism is a major source of revenue in Nepal and the earthquake led to a sharp drop in the number of visitors.
- At least 17 people will killed by an avalanche at the Mount Everest Base Camp.
- Many landslides occurred along steep valleys. 250 people were killed when the village of Ghodatabela was covered in material.
- India and China provided over $1 billion of international aid
- Over 100 search and rescue responders, medics and disaster and rescue experts were provided by The UK along with three Chinook helicopters for use by the Nepali government.
- The GIS tool “Crisis mapping” was used to coordinate the response.
- Aid workers from charities such as the Red Cross came to help.
- Temporary housing was provided, including ‘Tent city’ in Kathmandu.
- A $3 million grant was provided by the The Asian Development Bank (ADB) for immediate relief efforts, and up to $200 million for the first phase of rehabilitation.
- Many countries donated aid. £73 million was donated by the UK (£23 million by the government and £50 million by the public). In addition to this the UK provided 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid and eight tonnes of equipment.