Nepal is left to rebuild from mere ashes after being struck by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake on Saturday. The main tremor was soon followed by a series of aftershocks which upset what remained after the initial quake. More than eight million people have been affected, with nearly 5,000 deaths and over 9,000 injured. Nepal is left in ruins unsure of how to rebuild.
Understanding the challenges of recovery after such disasters helps steady the rebuilding process. One of the most prominent challenges of returning to normalcy after an earthquake of that magnitude is social uncertainty and confusion. People are vulnerable and often without a plan to rebuild which increases psychological problems.
One primary obstacle encountered when rebuilding from the ashes of an earthquake is the lack of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan. This leaves people confused and bewildered often lacking the energy to construct a plan due to the unresolved social problems that existed before the quake struck. Additionally, as in all disasters, people are left with emotional and psychological disturbances such as depression, anxiety, and fear of future earthquakes.
This is the state of those which have survived the enormous earthquake in Nepal. The massive amount of people affected provide an indication of the scale of devastation which struck the Himalayan nation. The number is steadily climbing as hopes of rescuing more survivors diminishes every minute. Heartbreaking scenes of suffering reveal the pressures surrounding the deadliest natural disaster this nation has suffered in more than 80 years.
The cities of Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu have been severely affected as well as avalanches in the mountain regions of central Nepal including Everest Base Camp and Langtang where many climbers were killed during the earthquake. As of Tuesday, relief efforts continued, but officials have expressed many problems trying to get aid into the country and delivering it to the remote communities which are desperately in need.
Many residents are sleeping outside in the open because either they have lost their homes or are afraid to stay inside due to possible aftershocks which could cause further destruction of buildings. Tents have sprung up in all available “open” areas, including the military grounds where parades are usually held. For these victims, bad weather has added insult to injury. Rain has shown no mercy to the masses as thunderstorms rumbled over the area. Sagar Mani Parajuli, Nepali’s Home Ministry Joint Secretary, is coordinating relief efforts. He said:
Government efforts to get aid into remote areas has been hampered by the country’s rugged terrain and poor weather, which limits the use of helicopters. The helicopters do not fly in cloudy and windy conditions because they are small. The geographical terrain of Nepal makes it difficult to use surface transport, but we are using it as much as possible.
With power outages and widespread destruction across the region, may people are missing or displaced. If anyone is looking for a missing person in Nepal, or has information about someone there, Google.org has launched a 2015 Nepal Earthquake People Finder. There is also a list of certified organizations operating across the globe to provide help and other forms of aid to these earthquake victims. With the death toll climbing, Nepal is left to rebuild from mere ashes in the aftermath of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake which hit the nation on Saturday.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Top Image Courtesy of SIM Central and Southeast Asia – Creativecommons Flickr License
Featured Image Courtesy of United Nation’s Development Program – Creativecommons Flickr License
Inside Image Courtesy of SIM Central and Southeast Asia – Creativecommons Flickr License