Earth Observatory Blog

Submitted on 26 Oct 2017 by:

On 25 April 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, destroying buildings and infrastructure across 31 of Nepal’s 70 districts. Approximately 9,000 people lost their lives to the earthquake that day, 22,000 suffered from injuries, and eight million were affected.

I arrived in Kathmandu one week after the quake, as part of the World Bank disaster risk management team, to support the government of Nepal in various response and recovery activities.

In the days before getting on the plane, I worked with the Stanford Urban Resilience Initiative to develop an initial earthquake impact estimate, based on an impact model I had already developed for Nepal.

I had been researching the seismic risk of Kathmandu for my PhD at Stanford. More specifically, I was...

Submitted on 15 Sep 2016 by:

The Ratu River Expedition, a documentary on earthquakes in Nepal, has won several awards at film festivals around the world. Most recently, the 25-minute film won a Platinum Remi prize at the WorldFest-Houston International Film and Video Festival held in April 2016. It also been screened in more than 10 film festivals worldwide.

Directed by Professor Isaac Kerlow from the Earth Observatory of Singapore’s Art+Media group, this documentary follows the research of Assistant Professor Judith Hubbard and her Structural Geology group. The group collaborates with Nepal’s Department of Mines and Geology to uncover the fault activities responsible for the earthquakes that have struck the region over the past 700 years.

In an interview with...

Submitted on 13 Mar 2016 by:

Asia and the Pacific are most at risk from natural disasters, according to a report from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. More than 90 million people worldwide were affected by natural disasters in 2015. Asia is the world’s most disaster-prone continent, with 152 out of the 346 reported disasters worldwide. This isn’t surprising, given that it is both geologically active and the most populous region on Earth. In the last few decades, earthquakes, tsunamis, and typhoons were among the deadliest natural hazards in the world. In 2015, earthquakes topped the list; the magnitude-7.8 Nepal earthquake in April claimed more than 8,000 lives, causing widespread damage in Gorkha and its surrounding areas. Earlier this year, the earthquake in Taiwan saw more than a hundred...