— Well, 10 days on, and Nepal has failed to reach all affected areas. Death toll is around 7500. The injured count is reaching around 15000. In a village, Nepali police and volunteers found bodies of around 100 trekkers and villagers and they were looking for more. And there are many more villages like this where help is reaching slowly. According to a report in Reuters – “The bodies were recovered on Saturday and Sunday at the Langtang village, 60 kilometers (40 miles) north of Kathmandu, which is on a trekking route popular with Westerners. The entire village, which includes 55 guesthouses for trekkers, was wiped out by the avalanche, officials said.” So, we got the news on Monday of something that happened on Saturday and Sunday. We can expect the difficulties in reaching out the people and villages there. Local volunteers and police personnel are digging through six-feet (deep) snow with shovels looking for more bodies.”

— The extent of damage remains vague, based on the assessment so far. It will take a long time as some 14 cities are badly affected from April 25 earthquake. The United Nations says of 11 cities with overall projection of 39 cities and 8 million people. While assessing the scale of destruction, Nepal will simultaneously have to engage in rehabilitation and reconstruction work.

— Different estimates vary from US$ 2 billion to US$ 10 billion but real extent of damage could come out to be even higher, straining Nepal’s economy that is just around US$ 20 billion. The Nepali government has reassessed its extent of damage, from US$ 2 billion to US$ 10 billion, but it is still a conservative one.

— Some impendent experts accuse Nepal government of ignorance. According to them, the final death-toll could be around 30,000. A Swiss expert even projects it to be around 100,000. Whatever be the final figures, they are likely, logically likely, to be much higher than the figures quoted by the ministers and spokespersons of Nepal.

— 34 countries that were involved in search, rescue and relief operations in Nepal have been asked to leave. Of the 75 teams, half have left Nepal by this evening. Overall, over 4000 aid workers were engaged in Nepal with India having the largest contingent. According to a report by the Hindustan Times, 962 aid workers were sent by India followed by China’s 370 and Israel’s 286. The same report says of around 700 foreign medical workers in Nepal.

— India has led by setting example. There was round the clock overage of Nepal’s earthquake and Indian efforts in the aftermath. Of all the expert personnel there, National Disaster Response Force had the largest group. Naturally, Indian media highlighted Indian efforts there. Some saw it as ‘glorification’ of a crisis. So, at a time, when rehabilitation and reconstruction should be on the mind, Nepal has asked all the countries involved in rescue efforts to leave Nepal.

— This order comes by a government that had expressed its inability on the very day of the disaster that it would not be able to meet the needs of the aftermath of this devastating earthquake, the biggest one in 81 years, after the Nepal-Bihar earthquake of 1934.

— After 10 days, there are no hopes of finding survivors anymore. Yes, some miracles, like have been happening, my happen, but overall, it’s about reconstructing the affected regions now.

— Nepal”s weak political system that is learning to stand on its own is preparing for the ‘relief stage’ now, the next phase. They have to rehabilitate millions, some 8 million out Nepal’s total population of 28 million, and it is to be done on war-scale. Now, what commitment they shows only time can tell.

— Monsoon is approaching. Regular rains are few weeks away. Nepal have to remove tons of rubble, form its urban areas and its towns and villages. Machinery and equipments are needed and Nepal has appealed for the same and India is sending its team.

— Nepal will be tasted here. It has to start the rebuilding process amid allegations of corruption, partiality and insensitivity in relief distribution. Nepal has appealed for relief teams and foreign workers engaged in relief operations can continue to stay. India is sending an engineering team with equipments to clear the rubble. Hope ‘Nepal asking the rescue teams to leave its soil’ was in good faith and the help will continue.

— Nepal has said most of the aid promised by the world community, by different countries and aid organizations, is yet to reach the relief fund of Nepal’s prime minister. Nepal needs relief material needed for everyday life – food, water, shelter, medicine, finances – for rehabilitation and reconstruction work. And Nepal needs them in loads as said by Nepal’s Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey – “We need huge (amounts of) relief material to address the woes of thousands, including funds for rebuilding, reconstruction and relocation of thousands of structures and displaced people.” (According to a report in the Hindustan Times)

— Today is Buddha Purnima and Nepal figured in the speech by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to a report on India Today’s website, he said – “Today is a special day, yet we feel a bit burdened. That is because Nepal, a land we all love, is facing difficulty. Nepal is going through a very difficult time right now. Buddha taught us compassion. We should share the pain and wipe the tears of people of Nepal. The birthplace of Lord Buddha, our beloved Nepal is going through a massive crisis. It is difficult to imagine how long and arduous this journey will be. We should share the pain of people of Nepal. Let us pray to Lord Buddha that they get new strength.”

— A peace prayer was also organized in Kathmandu, in Swyambunath temple. Some of the Buddhist stupas surrounding the 5th Century temple are damaged in the earthquake. People gathered there to pray for Nepal and pray for the humanity that is having difficult time there.

— According to a report in Reuters, Mount Everest remains opened for scaling the world’s highest peak in spite of the massive earthquake on April 25. The report said – “Mount Everest remains open to climbers, a senior official at Nepal’s tourism department said on Monday, despite avalanches after last month’s devastating earthquake destroyed much of the established route to the summit of the world’s highest peak.”

— But the Sherpas, on whom the responsibility lies, have refused to rebuild the route. According to a report in the Associated Press, they don’t think there is enough time left to scale the peak now. The report says – “Sherpas in Nepal have refused to rebuild a climbing route on Mount Everest that was destroyed by an earthquake-triggered avalanche more than one week ago, a decision which will likely end this year’s climbing season.”

— That brings an effective end to climbing season this year, which is till May. Though the Nepal government has said it will clear the southern route for climbers by the next week, it is clear that Sherpas are not buying it. Last year also, Nepal had to close the climbing season early due to an avalanche that had killed 16 Sherpas. China has already blocked the northern route from Tibet. So far, around 20 bodies have been rescued from the Everest base camp area and scores are still missing.

— According to a report in The Guardian, 3/4th of the buildings in Kathmandu are unsafe. The report says – “Assessments of 2,500 buildings carried out by more than 1,000 local engineers during the last four days have revealed that a fifth are no longer habitable and three-quarters need repairs before they can be considered safe.”

— According to the same report, officials figures say, so far, 153,000 buildings are devastated and 170,000 have suffered severe damage. And the surveys have not yet reached the rural areas.

— Nepal continues to face aftershocks. People still prefer living outdoor than going back to their homes, if they are at all habitable. And it goes with the line that Kathmandu look like a refugee camp bustling with people, the victims and aid workers and the whole of the affected region looks like having ghost towns.

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— On the 9th day of April 25 earthquake, the official death toll crossed 7000 mark. The injured count has already crossed 14000 mark.

— A Swiss expert today said the death toll would reach around 26000. It can reach even 100,000. The expert called the Nepal ministers ignorant.

— Given the extent of damage so far and the severity of the quake, the figures quoted by the Swiss expert look within limits.

— The final figures, of dead, of injured, of displaced and homeless, are expected to be much higher than what we hear now. Dead and injured would run in many thousands and much higher. Displaced and homeless would be in millions.

— Its nine days already but there are remote towns and villages where relief is yet to reach. Bad weather, rains, poor infrastructure and a downed connectivity through roads and communication means are hampering relief work and delaying the aid teams’ access to such areas.

— Though there are no hopes of survivors now, miraculous stories of survival are still there, like three were pulled out of rubble alive after surviving eight days there or a 101-year old man was saved today.

— According to the Nepal police, overall 54 foreigners are killed. 38 of them are Indians. 82 are still missing while 48 are injured. The figures look quite conservative given other estimates that say around 1000 Europeans are still missing in Nepal or estimates that say there were around 300,000 foreigners in Nepal when the quake struck.

— The extent of damage would badly strain the impoverished nation. Nepal says, based on estimates so far, US$ 2 billion is needed. Independent experts including the experts talk of a much higher figure, around US$ 10 billion. The real cost of rehabilitation and reconstruction could be much higher than this. Moreover, it would be an act of coordinated efforts spread over the years.

— Nepal is getting overwhelming support from the world community with India leading the pack. Its Operation Maitri is working day and night, right and within few hours of the earthquake, to help people and the country. Nothing can suffice the loss of human lives but what Nepal is getting in response is beating all expectations. And Nepal’s global goodwill is playing a good role in it.

— Now, it is Nepal’s responsibility that it ensures uniformity in relief distribution. And that is not happening. People are complaining and protesting. They are clashing with Nepal’s officials for relief material. They allege that influential people are cornering the aid. They are also alleging that government is partial and insensitive. There are voices alleging that government is distributing aid to the families with dead members but is doing nothing for the families who have lost all but a family-member. A village just few Kms of Kathmandu has not received any aid so far even if no house is left there.

— The cities lying on highways through Kathmandu, one to India, and one to China, wear a deserted look. They look like ghost towns. Aid is slowly reaching them but is not enough.

— According to the United Nations, around 160,000 houses are completely gone and some 600,000 houses are significantly damaged. The UN says around 8 million people are affected from this earthquake and around 2 million immediately need food and water. UNICEF says around one million children need immediate assistance. The figures are bound to be higher than the UN estimates.

— With Monsoon approaching fast, Nepal is staring at another epidemic, after this earthquake, i.e., the one induced by diseases. There are not enough hospitals for patients. Government has said of immediate disposal of dead-bodies from rubble. Compromised sanitation and hygiene practices in tents in Kathmandu and across Nepal are giving rise to stench and are in urgent need of cleaning acts.

— Nepal continued to have aftershocks, avalanches and landslides. People continue to prefer open spaces. They are stressed and traumatized and continued aftershocks are forcing them to remain outside.

— Nepal today closed its main runway for big jets that include military planes, cargo aircrafts and large commercial aircrafts carrying aid material after it found the runway having cracks. Only medium sized runways are allowed. But the UN said that the logistics situation has improved on an overall basis.

— After the UN complained, Nepal eased customs duty on aid material. That have improved their availability (from till yesterday) to the intended population segments.

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— It’s over a week now, 8th day of a massive tragedy that struck Nepal, an impoverished nation that is counted among the least developed, killing around 7000 and injuring over 14000. Many remote areas are still unreachable. Houses in the worst affected regions are completely flattened. Scores are still missing and the final figure after search, rescue and relief operation is expected to be much higher.

— According to a The Guardian report, Nepal’s customs laws are working as hindrance in the effective distribution of the relief material. Material is piled up at Tribhuvan airport but is not reaching the intended people. Nepal is pleading for food materials to be used for cooking, and not instant noodles and biscuits. It is also requesting the world community for tents and tarpaulin sheets which it made tax-free yesterday only. Responsible people of the Nepal government, who in the very beginning said that they would not be able to meet the needs after the disaster if the international help didn’t come, have, so far, failed to streamline the process of distribution.

— Aftermath of the quake is one of the many inept responses of the Nepali government. Government apathy and administrative corruption allowed Kathmandu to be an unorganized mess. And now, such factors are in play even here. It is hard to believe when The Guardian reports that a village just 26 Kms west of Kathmandu, Chhatrepati (in Dhading district) is yet to receive the relief material. The Guardian quotes the residents of the village where every house if severely damaged in the earthquake.

— While the international response has been overwhelming, many thousands of Nepalis are now a disgruntled lot. And that is because of the Nepal government only. Things needed for relief were to be exempted from the tax-regime of the country much ago, when the earthquake struck with a severe blow, but the ‘responsible’ people are still issuing advisories after being reminded of.

— While there are no houses, families of the victims who lost their family-members in the earthquake are getting tents and tarpaulin sheets or priority basis. But the people who have lost all, except anyone from the family, are not getting the same treatment from the government.

— Allegations of corruption and nepotism in relief work are increasing by the day. People with influential ties are cornering the relief material while many in the need are left behind.

— Teams are yet to reach many mountainous reasons in the interior of Nepal. These places have seen some airdropping of relief material but earthquake has isolated such regions from the world, cutting road ties and snapping communication infrastructure. Even miraculous stories of survival would not be expected from such places after so many days. What we wish for is speedy rehabilitation and reconstruction process in universal terms, and not in Nepal’s ways.

— In many districts, infrastructure of schools, hospitals and other basic civic amentias are so wiped out that reconstruction will take long and it is going to be a challenge for the administration to restart the comatose process.

— Hospitals, health-centers and make-shift medical units are overflowing with people and there are valid fears of an epidemic, induced by different diseases. Kathmandu, that is expected to see maximum deaths in a single place due to its unorganized mess, looks like a big refugee camp of many small units. And stench of human faces and urine are common from these ‘small units’.

— Government needs to acts fast on such valid concerns as Monsoon rains are just around the corner. Government also needs to factor in the psychological well-being of the people while requesting them to move to normalcy. They are traumatized and continued aftershocks have made them believe that returning to their houses will take long, probably after Monsoon. According to the UNICEF, the government has ‘a small window of time for rescuers to make arrangements to protect people from a disease-induced epidemic’.

— Nepal continued to have tremors of aftershocks today, like every other day. It is scientifically projected that Nepal would continue to feel aftershocks for months to come. Two aftershocks recorded today were of 5.1 and 4.5 in magnitude.

— Along with aftershocks and bad weather, that also includes rains, landslides and avalanches are further hampering the R&R work, especially in rural areas.

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— Death toll in Nepal is nearing 6,500 while there are around 15000 injured. We can assess so given the confirmed official figures for dead and injured are 6,250 and 14,357 respectively. Like earlier said, it does not include many in remote towns and villages where aid is either trickling down or has not reached at all.

— The final figures, which will take time, are expected to be in many thousands and much larger than what we are talking now. In 1934 earthquake in Nepal-Bihar, from which Nepal learnt no lessons, there were very few people in the valley around Kathmandu, and even in Kathmandu. Then, Nepal did not have a global tourist attraction in the form of Mount Everest and the regions around it for trekking and climbing. That has changed in 2015. Kathmandu, along with its valley is an unorganized mess of people and constructions.

— Mount Everest and nearby areas around it are expected to be opened next week for climbing and trekking. China has closed the northern way up for this climbing season. Let’s see if the climbers return. If that happens, that would be a precious source of earning for Nepal in these circumstances.

— So far, around 19 bodies of climbers and sherpas have been recovered. Many have been rescued from Mount Everest area. Scores are still missing.

— The United Nations said just US$ 53 million out of its appealed US$ 415 million were collected till Friday. It is worrisome. Though Nepal is said to getting overwhelming international support with India leading the search, rescue and relief missions, the world needs to do more for this impoverished nation that has seen a prolonged monarchy and a protracted Maoist struggle. The democratic Nepal was just beginning is to take steps when the devastating earthquake happened.

— According to the UN estimates, around 3 million immediately need food and water. Overall, around 8 million people are affected. Some 70,000 houses are gone and around 600,000 have suffered extensive damage.

— According to its official estimates, that is preliminary in nature and is bound to go up, Nepal needs US$ 2 billion for rehabilitation and reconstruction work. The extent of damage goes up to US$ 10 billion according to the US Geological Survey, around half of Nepal’s annual GDP.

— It has to be an extensive process, spread over the years, and much depends on how Nepal mobilizes the international support and how it exploits the internal rescores available in the years to come.

— At the time of the 7.8 earthquake on April 24, some 300,000 foreign tourists including Indians were in Nepal. Many have been evacuated. Many are waiting. Many are still missing. The European Union said today that around 1000 Europeans are still missing in Nepal.

— India has so far evacuated around 15000 through air and road-routes via Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Uttarakhand. It has helped other countries as well, evacuating nationals of some 14 countries and issuing them free visa.

— India cleared today it was there in Nepal with its full force but was acting secondary to Nepal. Nepal was leading the rescue and relief operations. India is helping Nepal as a big, watchful brother with its disaster experts and relief personnel, even if it rains.

— India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and its National Security Advisor Ajit Doval were in Nepal today. They took stock of the situation about R&R operations. They also made an aerial survey of the most damaged area.

— Nepal has its granaries full, as its minster says. But there are no people to take trucks to remote towns and villages. They have gone back to help their families in this disaster and the government is facing a cumbersome task. There are protests and clashes on delay of R&R operations in areas where aid is not reaching.

— Most of the people staying outside continue to do so. Kathmandu looks like a refugee camps these days. And it is expected to be so till the Monsoon rains arrive. People are expected to persist even in that. Morgues are full and the government has ordered immediate cremation of bodies. Affected regions look like ghost towns with relief material where only airdropping is possible and with personnel and relief material where people can reach anyhow.

— Updates on India’s efforts so far –taken from a TOI report – Indian agencies have launched “Operation Maitri”, under which india is providing 280 tonnes of relief materials, including clean drinking water, milk, biscuits, noodles, essential medicines, tents, blankets, tarpaulin and plastic sheets. In addition, two field hospitals, 18 army medical teams, 18 engineering teams, one IAF rapid action medical team, and excavator and earth moving equipment have been flown into Kathmandu and Pokhara in 28 sorties by C-17 Globe Master, IL-76 and C-130 aircraft. Indian states bordering Nepal have extended assistance in rescue and relief efforts through the land route. Sixteen NDRF teams are working with the Nepalese security agencies and have saved 11 lives and retrieved 121 bodies from various places in Kathmandu, the Unesco World Heritage Sites of Patan, Bhaktapur and Swayambhu and historic Dharahara tower.  Three army medical teams have been deployed at Barpak village, the epicentre of the earthquake in the Gorkha district of Nepal. A 39-member Indian Army team currently at the Everest Base Camp has voluntarily remained there to assist people, including stranded tourists and climbers. Indian helicopters have delivered 100 tonnes of relief material in various districts of Nepal, including Gorkha, Dhading, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchowk, Rasuwa and Ramechhap. A team from Power Grid Corporation of India is jointly working with Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) in restoring power supplies in different parts of Nepal. They have jointly restored three sub-power stations in the Kathmandu Valley and are working to restore more.”

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— On seventh day of the devastating earthquake of April 24, measuring 7.8 in intensity, the death toll is nearing 6000 while the injured count has crossed 11000 mark. Nepal army chief feared death toll could be as high as 15000. The final figure, or around it, will take days to arrive at and it is expected to be in many thousands.

— And it not just about dead and injured. Millions are left homes, displaced staying in outdoors, children alike. Many families are wiped out. Many families have family-members lost. Many families have very few or single survivors. According to the UN, some 70,000 houses are destroyed while 530,000 have suffered heavy structural damage.

— Whole of Kathmandu is looking like a refugee camp. It is dotted with tents. Teams of disaster management personnel, security apparatus, government officials, aid workers and people of Kathmandu have the combined responsibility of maintaining sanitation and hygiene. According to reports, they are failing in this because of government and because of people. Smell of human faeces and urine can be felt around relief camps of Kathmandu.

— Whole of Kathmandu valley and the affected regions of Nepal look like ghost towns. Quake epicentre in Gorkha district is totally vanished. No house is left in Barpak. There are many villages in the interior of Nepal where help is yet to reach. And whenever the aid teams reach there, their functionality would be basically about relief efforts as they would have no one to rescue anymore. Apart from some miraculous stories of survival, all would be dead by then.

— UN says 1.8 million immediately need food and water assistance. It estimates around 8 million are affected across 39 districts. 11 of it are considered severely damaged in the quake of April 24 and tremors and aftershocks after it. UN has appealed to the world community for an immediate relief of $US 415 million.

— People are protesting. Earthquake victims are clashing with police and government officials. They have no food. They have no water. The home looks frightening to the majority living out in the streets even if there is a home. Sheer frustration is leading them to block roads and relief operations blaming government of apathy and delay.

— Roads are hit with splits and cracks. Many bridges are gone. Choppers are not finding place to land in worst affected villages and remote towns and are airdropping relief materials. According to some reports, such areas need a trek of five days to reach there. The UN quotes ‘significant logistical challenges’ in reaching out to such rural areas.

— Nepal will have to work in different ways in different areas. The areas with relief camps need to see efforts towards rehabilitation and reconstruction now as Monsoon is near. The areas not yet reached need aid teams and relief work. Reaching there and providing relief should be the priority of aid teams. The UN said – Some villages can only be reached by foot with some areas taking up to four to five days to reach. Fuel to transport SAR teams (search and rescue) is limited. There is a need to prioritise restoration of communications infrastructure, casualty management and basic relief in remote areas.

— Nepal had three aftershocks today, two of them measuring 3.9 and 4.7. Nepal is expected to have aftershocks for months.

— Being a rainy day, rains hampered rescue and relief operations today.

— India is at the forefront of R&R operations in affected regions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior ministers and officials are personally looking after the work being done there. They are holding regular meetings. India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval are scheduled to visit Nepal tomorrow.

— Nepal government appealed its people to start their lives again. It has asked its employees to come to offices. Workers are told to engage in rehabilitation efforts along with day to day activity. Some shops, restaurants and casinos are opening up. Government has told shopkeepers to return to business. Banks are operating in Kathmandu. Government is working to reopen schools.

— According to a report by the Associated Press, Nepal may allow Himalayan trekking and climbing to Mount Everest if climbers do so. The report says that the climbing season may be extended to June. Traditionally, bad weather makes it difficult to ascend the world’s highest peak beyond May.

— 19 are confirmed dead here, in Everest base camp area and on the way up. Scores are missing. China has closed the northern route to the peak for Spring. The southern route from Nepal, badly damaged in the earthquake, is the popular one. According to the AP report, Nepal will be able to open it up within a week.

— China did not use its military planes to evacuate stranded Chinese. Also, India has outdone China in evacuating its nationals. Chinese PLA is being criticised for it.

— Countries have continued evacuation of their stranded nationals. So far, India has helped 15 countries in evacuating its nationals. They are being evacuated through Tribhuvan international airport in Kathmandu and through road-routes via India. Many thousand Indians are still trapped in Nepal, a religious and historical country for Hinduism.

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— Those dying in April 24 earthquake and aftershocks and tremors that have followed have crossed 5200 mark. It is expected to be around 5500 so far. Around 11000 are injured. Millions are left homeless and displaced.

— There are stories of survival and there are stories of despair. Hope they show it, but they don’t possess it. Their homes are gone. Their loved ones are gone. Some of them have survived the earthquake trapped in the rubble for four days, rubble that happened to be their houses once.

— Though there are miraculous stories of survival, like a man in Kathmandu who was pulled out of rubble after 82 hours, or like a four-month old baby in Bhaktapur who was rescued after 22 hours, but overall, affected regions of Nepal have turned into ghost towns.

— India is basing its operations in Kathmandu and Gorkha districts – the two most affected parts – in terms of human lives and destruction. The 7.8 quake’s epicentre was in Gorkha district, between Kathmandu and Pokhara, near Lamjung district.

— People are complaining that they have not received the relief material. They are complaining about the slow pace of delivery. They are behaving frustrated and irritated. They are running out of patience. They are protesting and some of them even blocked the traffic in Kathmandu to press for their demands. They are demanding water and food.

— People continue to stay outdoors in affected areas including Kathmandu. Aftershocks have continued. No major tremors in last two days. No major tremor today so far.

— The by-product practices in such circumstance like people selling their assets and properties for relief materials including food, water, medicines and possibly shelter, people looking to buy such things, goons indulged in loot and burglary and rumour-mongering are also having a run in the affected regions of Nepal these days.

— Today, banks in Kathmandu worked for few hours. ATM kiosks received the much needed money infusion. People running short of everything can breathe easy on this front – yes, only if they are carrying their cards. And yes, this is limited to Kathmandu only.

— Everest climbing season of Spring has virtually come to an end. China has closed the northern way from its side, from Tibet. No one knows when would it be reopened. The route from the southern side, the popular one, one in Nepal, is completely devastated in the quake. Bodies of around 20 climbers has been recovered so far. Scores are still missing. Scores are left injured.

To continue..

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— Death toll in Nepal has crossed the 5000 mark. Injured count over 10,000. The final figure, as expected, is to be in many thousands – of dead – of injured.

— India has reported 72 deaths, China has 25.

— Most affected districts in Nepal – Kathmandu, Pokhara, Lalitpur (Patan), Lamjung, Gorkha, Sindhupalchok, Bhaktapur, Rasuwa, Dhading, Langtang, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Kavre, Makwanpur, Chitwan, Parsa, Bara, Saptari, Dhanusha.

— Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur have lost many temples and heritage sites. Kathmandu’s Darbar Square and Gorkha’s Gorkha Durbar have been hit badly.

— Millions were displaced and left homeless. Their rehabilitation is a priority but public frustration is growing. Relief is not reaching to them as expected.

— Rescue and relief efforts are proving difficult to carry out, especially in remote towns and villages. Many of them are still out of reach. Teams are facing problems of logistics with cracked roads and dysfunctional power and communication lines.

— Nepal’s small and chaotic airport is proving to be a problem. It is inundated with people, and with relief material and is facing logistical problems in managing them. People are rushing to go out of Nepal while support from the world community has created a sort of mismanagement at the airport.

— Nepal, due to its goodwill, is getting overwhelming response from the world community. India, Nepal’s neighbour, the only country with direct road access to the country, is playing the role of big brother with its ‘Operation Maitri’, helping Nepal in every respect. It is helping in rescue, relief and reconnaissance efforts in Kathmandu, in Everest base camp area and in other quake affected regions. It is expected to play a big role in rehabilitation and reconstruction work. It is airlifting people and trying to open up more roads to the country to carry more people to this side of India-Nepal border and heavy equipments needed to that side of the border. Indian Army has established a camp in Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest district, to coordinate the operations. The international community, including China, Pakistan, US, UK, Australia, Canada, Israel, etc., and different aid agencies including the UN are there with helping hands.

— Stormy weather with warnings of heavy to very heavy rains are affecting rescue and relief work. Whenever rains happen, efforts to reach and help people across the affected region come to a virtual standstill.

— Electricity was restored in some parts of Kathmandu with help of India.

— Though there was no major earthquake today, Nepal continue to experience aftershocks.

— People continue to stay in the open – in Kathmandu and across Nepal. Kathmandu looks like a refugee camps with many tents, open hospitals and relief centres.

— According to the UN estimates, some 8 million are affected and many of Nepal’s cities look like ghost towns. It is revised and up from an earlier UN estimate of 6.6 million quake-affected people. According to the revised estimates, 39 of 75 Nepal districts are earthquake affected. 11 of these are severely damaged.

— Around 20 bodies are recovered from Mount Everest base camps. Some reports say 18. The final figure is yet not available. Scores are still missing. Some reports say them to be around 200, some 400. Dozens are saved from the way up and the area surrounding Everest base camps. The way up from Tibet side, in China, the northern side, is closed. The southern side, from Nepal, the popular one, is devastated. Everest climbing season this spring is virtually over with it.

— Nepal’s deputy PM said the rescue efforts were over and it was the time for rehabilitation work even if the reconnaissance work was not yet complete.

— Also, petty politics, though to a smaller extent, is at play. Nepal has rejected Taiwanese offer of help. There are reports of China expressing displeasure on India, choppers flying near China’s border. Also, there are reports of skirmishes between Indian R&R teams and Nepal’s defence forces.

— Different estimates say different things and will continue to say so. The impact of this earthquake on Nepal’s economy is severe. Nepal and global agencies are already assessing the damage. If we believe the US Geological Survey estimates, the damage could be to the extent of around $US 10 billion. IHS Global, a US based firm, estimates Nepal needs $US 5 billion for rehabilitation and reconstruction works.

— Remittances form around 30% of the GDP while tourism’s share is 8%. This 38% also helps Nepal to work on its unemployment problem, that is as huge as 50% according to some estimates. In the aftermath of Nepal quake, the sectors are going to be hit badly, affecting thus Nepal’s economy badly.

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Different estimates put a strain of up to $10 billion on Nepal’s economy. The US Geological Survey put it around $20 billion according to the reports available. A US based consultancy firm, IHS Global, has come to the conclusion after its assessments that Nepal needs $5 billion over five years for quake related reconstruction.

The United Nations estimates that the quake has affected 40% of Nepal. In revised estimates, the UN estimates that the quake has affected some 8 million Nepali residents, up from its earlier estimate of 6.6 million.

According to the UN estimates, 11 districts are severally devastated while in overall, 39 of the 75 districts of Nepal are affected by this earthquake.

Nepal is an impoverished, landlocked nation of over 28 million (27.8 million to be exact), it is among the poorest in the world. Its global fame is due to Mount Everest, Earth’s highest peak. Ascending the mountains to reach Mount Everest and Himalayan trekking contribute to the economy in a major way. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, tourism related activaties contribute around 8% of Nepal’s GDP.

Nepal is a low income economy with its GDP around $19 billion. Most of the population, over 70%, is engaged in agriculture. But its contribution to the GDP is around 33.7%. So, around 70% of the population is engaged in an activity that contributes just 34% of the GDP.

Services sector, of which tourism is part, contributes around 52% to Nepal’s economy, the largest chunk. Remittances are an important part of it as Nepal cannot employ most of its employment-age population, some estimates put the figure around 50%. In 2013, remittances constituted around 29% of the GDP. Hotels, real estate and construction are important parts of services-based industries.

As expected, manufacturing forms the lowest chunk. It contributes just 14% to the GDP.

Nepal is said to be a smuggling haven for India and many international brands are routinely smuggled into India via Nepal. India is also its biggest economic partner, the country that borders Nepal on three sides – east, south and west. Around 55% of exports to Nepal is from India.

China that is competing with India for a strategic stake in the nation, comes at distant third with 4% of exports. The US accounts for 9% of exports.

While most of the Nepal is badly hit by the devastating earthquake, the tourism industry has started feeling the heat already. People and parties are cancelling their Nepal tours and plans to ascend Mount Everest. Even the Indian regions of the affected belt, Darjeeling, Sikkim and Northeast India, are affected in the wave. Tour operators say 90% bookings to Nepal and affected regions stand cancelled at this hour.

China has closed the way to Mount Everest from its side, though a less popular one, and there is no timeframe when it will be opened. Route through Nepal is universally accepted and a more popular one. The Everest base camps at around 5000 meters in Nepal are badly devastated in ensuing avalanches. Some 200 are still missing. When the quake-induced avalanche happened, many mountaineers are on their way up to Mount Everest and many were planning to do so. Eight of 10 world’s tallest mountains are in Nepal.

Nepal was already among the least developed countries in the world and was aiming for the tag of ‘developing country’ by 2022 but the poor nation with per capita GDP of around $700 according to the World Bank figures has been pushed back by at least a decade.

Staring before it is the mammoth work of reconstructing a massive earthquake hit economy.

And staring in the face is the task of making it earthquake resistant! After all, Nepal falls in an earthquake prone zone, on a fault-line of Indian and Eurasian plates, and when they begin rehabilitation and reconstruction work, it should be in the minds of the policymakers, unlike after the quake of 1934.

It may happen this time if they speak in urgent, uniformed voice.

1934 was a monarchy. 2015 is a democracy.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Though it was always vulnerable to earthquakes, Nepal didn’t face any massive one in 80 years, and the landlocked impoverished nation was not prepared for this one, a massive 7.8 earthquake.

The earthquake, a shallow one with depth of just 15 Kms, has affected around 8 million people of Nepal, the UN say in its revised estimates. According to some estimates, the shallow and strong quake has hit almost 40% of Nepal and is expected to cost the nation billions of US$ in reconstruction.

The whole of Himalayan range is considered unstable and Nepal lies there. Mount Everest is getting up every year, a centimetre each year. According to the geologists, Indian plate is sliding under Nepal.

The whole Kathmandu was almost flattened in 1934 earthquake. Nepal could have learnt lessons from it and designed buildings in a way to withstand earthquakes. But among the poorest nations of earth, Nepal could not do it.

Poor it was. It remained poor. And with a continued streak of Maoist insurgency that was taken into mainstream in last decade only. The result was – an unplanned growth. Nepal is basically about Kathmandu and Mount Everest – its best known locations. Then, there is tourism circuit of districts like Pokhara and Janakpur. All these are in a quake-sensitive reason.

Over the years, most of Kathmandu and the valley surrounding it have grown in an unorganized way. Most of the buildings do now follow quake-resistant building rules. Most heritage buildings needed retrofitting. Nepal had seven UN heritage sites before this earthquake. Four are completely destroyed in Saturday’s earthquake. Many localities, buildings, temples and structures are completely decimated.

Himalaya was formed when the Indian plate collided with the Eurasian plate. And Himalaya is still rising up. The Indian plate is sliding under the Eurasian plate and whenever a collision happens, it releases enormous amount of energy. It happened in 1934. It happened on April 25. Killing over 10,000 then. Killing scores now and the complete assessment will take time.

Indian plate is sliding northwards at 5 centimetres per year. It is considered a fast enough pace in geological parlance.

The movement of tectonic plates below India and Nepal creates a fault-line that runs all along the Himalayan range – 1400 mile long. And Nepal is on this fault-line.

Enormous energy is released when the earth crust ruptures due to the stress between the plates and it is a continued process.

But we cannot predict its frequency. Some experts say now Nepal should be ready for a big earthquake every five-six decades. But even they are not sure.

After the earthquake, India has slid around 6-7 feet under Nepal, different scientific estimates say. That means over a thousand miles.

Understanding it is tectonic in nature – you want to understand it or you don’t want to. It all depends on people. For those who want to understand the science behind the Saturday’s earthquake, these are few links:

Scientific American – How The Deadly Nepal Earthquake Happened

Discovery News – The Science Behind The Nepal Earthquake

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –



INJURED AND HOMELESS: The count is already nearing 7000. UNICEF is appealing urgent help for 1 million children, so we can imagine the number of adults who have been left homeless and are displaced in the tragedy.

HUMAN STORIES FROM NEPAL: The stories of survival – the heart-wrenching elements – people dying there, people already dead and people dependent on them – people trapped there – the need for rescue and relief operations – the need for reconnaissance missions to locate them – the need to extend the helping hands to them – prices skyrocketing – the racket of sale and debt – stealing from them, robbing them



EXTENT OF DAMAGE: Almost 40% of Nepal is hit by the massive earthquake of Saturday. The extent of destruction is widening its range every hour. Rescue teams are yet to reach many remote towns and villages but they are covering areas now after Kathmandu and the valley surrounding it. Some reports say the Gorkha district is hardest hit.



WHAT IS THE EXTENT OF DAMAGE IN INDIA? Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have reported deaths. Bihar is the worst hit. Bihar and West Bengal had another earthquake today to talk about.

AFTERSHOCKS AND FURTHER QUAKES: 60 aftershocks and counting – earthquakes since Saturday – experts say the aftershocks may continue for months and years

TRIBHUVAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT/KATHMANDU AIRPORT: Chaotic scenes there – people queuing up to go out to their homes – the aid material there – how Nepal’s only international airport, which is relatively small in size, is coping up

EVACUATIONS: By airlifting or through roads. Nepal is a tourist designation with Mount Everest, the highest peak of the Earth’ on its soil. Kathmandu was a colourful destination for tourists from across the world. Many other sites, now badly damaged in this quake, are favourites of tourists. For Indians, Nepal is a Hindu majority nation and has many sacred temples of Hinduism including the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu.

TRAVEL ADVISORIES: By countries – USA, UK and Australia have already issued – more to follow the suit

IMPACT ON TOURISM: Reports say it is the season of maximum footfalls. And the tragedy has hit it now, affecting it, decimating all hopes, not just in Nepal, an impoverished nation where tourism is one of the major elements of economy, but in other affected regions of Himalaya as well.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –