Poor construction to blame for damages in Nepal, says expert

The Himalayan Mountain range exists due to a collision between the Indian Plate and the Eurasian plate, on whose boundary Nepal sits.

By
April 26, 2015 22:22
1 minute read.
Nepal

People sit inside their makeshift shelter on open ground after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal April 26. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Much of the damage accompanying the weekend’s earthquake and aftershocks in Nepal may have resulted from inadequate infrastructure that plagues the Himalayan nation, geologist Dr. Ariel Heimann said on Sunday.

“The shaking was very strong and took place in populated areas with weak infrastructure, with poor construction that does not meet standards,” explained Heimann, who is the director-general of the Weizmann Institute’s Davidson Institute of Science Education in Rehovot.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


A 50 million-year process in the making, the Himalayan Mountain range exists due to a collision between the Indian Plate and the Eurasian plate, on whose boundary Nepal sits.

Around the world, the rate of damage of earthquakes is caused by several factors, including the earthquake’s intensity: The stronger the quake, the stronger the ground vibrations. Distance from the epicenter also plays a key role, as ground vibrations are strong closer to that center, he explained.

While ground infrastructure may increase or decrease the intensity of seismic waves, Kathmandu lies in a valley with infrastructure that likely increases such waves – thereby exacerbating the damage, Heimann said. Building types and construction execution methods also play a key role in damage, as oftentimes people are injured or killed by collapsing structures rather than by earthquakes themselves.

“Therefore, correct design and construction may significantly reduce the damage to life and property as a result of an earthquake,” he said. “Kathmandu, and certainly the villages in the Himalayas are built in a patchwork, without standards, from blocks and bricks, and therefore easily collapsed due to the strong earthquake.”

Related Content

Police officers stand at a cordon after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminste
August 15, 2018
Man arrested after suspected UK parliament attack

By REUTERS