6.2 Earthquake in Nepal Causes Widespread Damage, Including Cracks in Buildings

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The 6.2 intensity earthquake that hit Nepal this afternoon has left behind a trail of massive destruction, bringing back horrifying flashbacks of the 7.8-magnitude quake that hit the capital city of Kathmandu in 2015. Several buildings in the Bajhang district, in west Nepal close to Uttarakhand, have suffered significant damages. Homes have collapsed, parts of buildings have crumbled, and several more developed dangerous cracks from the impact of the quake that struck at a depth of just five km.

The Himalayan region where this quake occurred is known for its tectonic activity due to numerous faults. Gautam says that the magnitude and depth of this earthquake were vital because they ensured that a large area experienced the tremors. He also explained that the earthquake’s depth was crucial because the more profound the quake is, the less damage it causes to buildings.

Seismic scientists are still assessing the damage caused by the quake. They analyze data from the National Centre for Seismology (NCS) and other instruments.

There are reports of some landslides triggered by the quake, and these could block roads in western Nepal. Nepali portal Online Khabar cites sources to say several houses in the Bajhang district have been destroyed. The local police chief of the district told the portal that two people had been killed.

Houses made of simple stone and adobe construction fared poorly during the tremors. On the other hand, houses with cement-bonded stones or brick construction exhibited much better structural performance during this earthquake.

Despite these facts, the damage caused by this earthquake has been devastating to rural communities across Nepal. Many villages lost their private and public infrastructures, and farms were destroyed. Historical monuments have been heavily damaged, and many people were forced to evacuate their homes.

Disasters in poverty-stricken and politically paralyzed nations such as Nepal have a domino effect, and they feed into other issues that lead to further suffering. These include human trafficking, labor costs and availability, housing and rental cost burdens, land ownership problems, debt burdens, mental health issues, and economic disparity.

The 6.2 earthquake today was another catastrophic blow to the country, and a comprehensive reconstruction plan must be put in place immediately. This plan should address rebuilding private and public infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, and roads. It should also include a clear plan for disaster risk reduction. This would involve establishing early warning systems and building resilient infrastructure such as dams, retaining walls, and bridges. Moreover, it should also include a plan for community-based disaster management and response to future natural hazards. This will help reduce the loss of lives and property in future disasters.

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