TIME Nepal

Nepal Rocked by Massive Fresh Earthquake

The country is still coping with the aftermath of a major quake on April 25

Nepal was hit Tuesday morning by another major earthquake, this time measuring 7.3 on the Richter magnitude scale. The epicenter was located 76 km east of the capital Kathmandu, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Nepalese home ministry officials said at least 65 people were killed in the quake across three countries, CNN reports, including at least 17 in India. Another was killed in Tibet, and the Nepal Home Ministry said the total injury toll across the region is now 1,926.

The quake, which was centered near Mt Everest, was strong enough to topple yet more buildings and cause further landslides in Nepal, as well as in northern India. The impact was felt as far away as New Delhi. Areas to the northeast of Kathmandu were said to be worst hit by the strong temblor, with 31 of the country’s 75 districts affected.

The country is still recovering from a devastating quake on April 25 that claimed over 8,000 lives.

Read next: How Photographers Are Using Instagram to Help Nepal

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Chile

See Chile’s Villarrica Volcano Light Up the Night Sky

The Villarrica Volcano at night in Pucon town, Chile on May 10, 2015.
Cristobal Saavedra—Reuters The Villarrica Volcano at night in Pucon town, Chile on May 10, 2015.

The active volcano glows through the night

The Villarrica Volcano in southern Chile is the most active volcano in South America.

In March the volcano, which is located near the tourist resort Pucon, erupted and caused thousands of people to evacuate. This photograph was taken May 10, and depicts the view of the volcano from the city.

TIME Nepal

Nepal Urges Foreign Rescue Workers in Capital to Return Home

Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department inspect the ruins of a collapsed building in Gangabu, Kathmandu on April 30, 2015.
Omar Havana—Getty Images Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department inspect the ruins of a collapsed building in Gangabu, Kathmandu on April 30, 2015.

Since the earthquake, 4,050 rescue workers from 34 countries have flown to Nepal

(KATHMANDU) — Nepal’s government urged foreign rescue workers in the quake-hit capital to return home Monday as hundreds of people visited Buddhist shrines and monasteries to mark the birthday of Gautam Buddha.

Information Minister Minendra Rijal said the major rescue work in Kathmandu and surrounding areas have been completed and that the remaining operations can be handled by local workers. However, work remained in the villages and remote mountain areas and foreign aid volunteers could work with local police and army rescuers in those areas, he said.

Since the April 25 earthquake, 4,050 rescue workers from 34 different nations have flown to Nepal to help in rescue operations, provide emergency medical care and distribute food and other necessities. The death toll from the quake, Nepal’s worst in more than 80 years, reached 7,276, police said.

At the Swayambhunath shrine, located atop a hill overlooking Kathmandu, hundreds of people chanted prayers as they walked around the hill where the white iconic stupa with its gazing eyes are located.

Some of the structures around the stupa, built in the 5th century, were damaged in the April 25 magnitude 7.8 quake. Police blocked off the steep steps to the top of the shrine, also called “Monkey temple” because of the many monkeys who live on its slopes.

“I am praying for peace for the thousands of people who were killed,” said Santa Lama, a 60-year-old woman. “I hope there will be peace and calm in the country once again and the worst is over.”

Authorities had to temporarily close Kathmandu’s main airport to large aircraft delivering aid due to runaway damage on Sunday, but U.N. officials said the overall logistics situation was improving.

The airport was built to handle only medium-size jetliners, but not the large military and cargo planes that have been flying in aid supplies, food, medicines, and rescue and humanitarian workers, said Birendra Shrestha, the manager of Tribhuwan International Airport.

There have been reports of cracks on the runway and other problems at the only airport capable of handling jetliners.

“You’ve got one runway, and you’ve got limited handling facilities, and you’ve got the ongoing commercial flights,” said Jamie McGoldrick, the U.N. coordinator for Nepal. “You put on top of that massive relief items coming in, the search and rescue teams that have clogged up this airport. And I think once they put better systems in place, I think that will get better.”

He said the bottlenecks in aid delivery were slowly disappearing, and the Nepalese government eased customs and other bureaucratic hurdles on humanitarian aid following complaints from the U.N.

TIME movies

San Andreas Is Still Going to Be Released in May Despite the Nepal Earthquake

Dwayne Johnson, a cast member in the upcoming film "San Andreas," poses before the Warner Bros. presentation at CinemaCon 2015 at Caesars Palace on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Las Vegas
Chris Pizzello—Invision/AP Dwayne Johnson, a cast member in the upcoming film San Andreas, poses before the Warner Bros. presentation at CinemaCon 2015 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on April 21, 2015

Warner Bros. says it will disseminate information about how people can donate to Nepal earthquake relief

Warner Bros. will stick to the original release date of May 29 for its earthquake blockbuster San Andreas despite the devastating tremblor in Nepal, Variety reports.

A studio spokesperson said Wednesday the company debated over moving the release date, but instead chose to alter promotional materials to include information about how people can donate to relief efforts in Nepal. They also accelerated an original public-service campaign that educates people on natural disaster safety and adjusted the messaging to encompass events in Nepal, Variety said.

The trailers and posters, however, will not be changed.

“We will continue to evaluate our worldwide marketing campaign to ensure that we are sensitive to those affected by this tragic event,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson told Variety.

The movie features Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and Carla Gugino as an estranged couple who travels from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their daughter after California’s San Andreas fault suffers a magnitude-9 earthquake. The trailer features scenes of Los Angeles skyscrapers tumbling and a massive tsunami bearing down on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Nepalese police said Thursday morning the death toll from the magnitude-7.8 earthquake had topped 5,500 people across India, Bangladesh, China and Nepal, with an estimated 11,440 injured.

[Variety]

TIME Natural Disasters

3 Places Where the Next Big Earthquake Could Hit

"Anytime you dump that amount of kinetic energy into a major city, bad things will happen"

The earthquake that devastated Nepal on Saturday came as a shock to much of the world—but for seismologists and disaster preparedness advocates, it was no surprise. Experts have long warned that the country’s vulnerable location at the meeting of two tectonic plates and its slim economic resources made for the perfect storm.

Now, seismologists say that several spots around the world face the potential for an earthquake as least as devastating as the one that hit Kathmandu. “Anytime you dump that amount of kinetic energy into a major city, bad things will happen,” said Gregory Beroza, a Stanford University seismologist.

This map shows the places that are most likely to experience intense earthquakes (in red), based on a 1999 projection.

gshap_world_map_poster_a0q.cdr
GSHAP

Here are some of the cities that most concern seismologists:

Tehran:

The Iranian capital is located near three major fault lines. It’s also built on relatively new sediment that doesn’t do a great job of supporting buildings when the ground shakes. On top of all that, the city has grown rapidly, and earthquake readiness was not a focus in building new homes. Hoping to reduce the risk of a catastrophe when the big one hits, Iranian officials created financial incentives in 2010 to encourage 5 million Iranians to leave the city. But the city remains large, and the risk of an earthquake is high. There’s a 90% chance of a magnitude 6.0 or greater earthquake in the coming decades, according to a Reuters report. And, because of the city’s location and poor construction standards, even a quake of that size would be devastating.

Istanbul:

Turkey is no stranger to deadly earthquakes. More than 100,000 people died across the country during earthquakes in the 20th century, according to a World Bank report. And that risk hasn’t abated in recent years. Turkey has invested in retrofitting public buildings in Istanbul, the most populous city, but most of the city’s inhabitants live in hastily constructed homes that don’t meet buildings codes. A 2000 study found the city faces a greater than 60% chance of experiencing a magnitude 7.0 earthquake by 2030. A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in the Kocaeli province of Turkey, 75 miles away from Istanbul, killed nearly 1,000 people in Istanbul alone. A similar earthquake in the city center would kill many more.

Los Angeles:

Los Angeles, the second most populous city in the United States, has plenty of resources devoted to preventing a humanitarian disaster in the event of a large earthquake. But even cities that spend a lot of time and money preparing still may not be ready for the most devastating earthquakes. The Los Angeles area has a more than two-thirds chance of experiencing a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake by 2038, according to a United States Geological Society report. The 1994 Northridge earthquake, a magnitude 6.7 tremor, killed 57 people and caused $20 billion in damage.

More concerning is the 7% chance of a magnitude 8.0 earthquake in the next 30 years. A magnitude 7.8 tremor could leave 1,800 dead and 50,000 injured and cause $200 billion in damage, according to the USGS.

TIME Natural Disasters

The Himalayas Probably Just Got a Little Shorter

The Nepal earthquake caused the ground to shift

Some peaks on the world’s tallest mountain range may have gotten a little shorter following Saturday’s magnitude-7.8 earthquake in Nepal.

Precise figures aren’t available yet, but the dip in the Himalayas mountain range probably measured about 1.3 feet at points north of the epicenter near Kathmandu, according to University of Colorado professor and South Asian earthquake expert Roger Bilham.

It’s not clear what effect the quake had on Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak and where the earthquake caused an avalanche that killed at least 18 people. Any impact would be minuscule considering its size: China and Nepal, whose border touches the mountain, both say Everest measures 29,029 feet. Without the earthquake the Himalayas typically grow naturally from the movement of tectonic plates, though at a rate of less than 1 inch each year, according to the United States Geological Society.

On the fault line, the Nepal earthquake caused the ground to shift by about 10 feet, according to Bilham.

TIME Nepal

6 Ways You Can Give to Nepal Earthquake Relief

Nepalese people rest in their makeshift shelter next to a road in Kathmandu on April 27, 2015, two days after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal.
Prakash Singh—AFP/Getty Images Nepalese people rest in their makeshift shelter next to a road in Kathmandu on April 27, 2015, two days after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal.

An impoverished country is struggling to cope

Massive financial support is going to be needed if impoverished Nepal is to rebuild from the devastating weekend earthquake that claimed more than 3,600 lives and flattened buildings, among them some of the country’s best known landmarks. Here’s how you can donate.

1. Save the Children

Save the Children is an international charity that has been in Nepal since 1976 and is therefore in an exceptional position to help after years of operating within the country, Save the Children spokesman Philip Carroll told TIME.

Carroll said that a response team of 24-emergency specialists, including a medical team, had been dispatched to assess humanitarian needs. He specifically emphasized the importance of distributing clean drinking water to prevent water-borne diseases in a country that already had low sanitation standards. They are also distributing hats and blankets for babies, as many families are living on the streets because of the fear of aftershocks.

Also, 10% of funds are going to preparations for future disasters.

To donate to their Nepal Earthquake Children’s Relief Fund, click here.

2. Red Cross

The Red Cross has committed an initial $300,000 of aid as well as 19,000 non-food relief kits which include clothes, kitchen sets, tarpaulins and mosquito nets.

“We do not yet know the scope of damage … People will need considerable support including food, water, medical care and emergency shelter,” said Jagan Chapagain, the director for the International Federation of Red Cross Asia-Pacific said on Sunday via the organization’s website.

To donate to their Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund click here.

3. Global Giving

Online fund-raising platform Global Giving is running a project to raise $1,000,000 for disaster relief in Nepal and has raised over $570,000 so far.

To make a donation, visit them here. If you have a U.S. cell phone, you can text GIVE NEPAL to 80088 to make a $10 donation.

4. Friends Service Council Nepal

FSCN is a Nepalese NGO with over 20 years of experience in supporting disaster relief efforts for disasters in Nepal. They are based in Kathmandu and have about 50 volunteers. Chairperson Surya Bahadur Thapa tells TIME that since the earthquake they have been rushing money, food and tents to people in need.

If you want to give directly to a local charity, get in contact and Thapa or a volunteer will explain how best to transfer money to them.

5. Oxfam

Oxfam, which works in more than 90 countries, has already dispatched technical experts from the U.K. to Nepal and sent a China-based team to assess humanitarian needs in Tibet, where the quake also struck.

Nepal country director Cecilia Keizer stated that Oxfam was “preparing to help provide clean water and emergency food.”

To make your donation to Oxfam’s relief effort, go here.

6. Goonj

Goonj is an Indian relief agency with 11 offices and more than 300 employees. They have set up Nepal-specific donation centers in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Rishikesh, founding director Anshu Gupta told TIME.

Currently, Goonj is readying two trucks of relief material to transfer to Nepal, with more urgent supplies going by air. Gupta will be leading team to Nepal tomorrow. Find out more about their operations here.

For more information about how to donate, visit their website.

Read next: Kathmandu on Edge After Deadly Quake Ravages Nepal

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Natural Disasters

How Human Activity Is Causing Earthquakes Across the United States

Eight states in the South and Central U.S. are experiencing rapid earthquake growth partially as a result of oil and gas activity

The Rock may be about to star in the earthquake disaster movie San Andreas, but it turns out California is no longer the leading state for quakes. Oklahoma had more than 500 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater in 2014. Quakes in the Sooner State are now hundreds of times more common than less than a decade ago.

And Oklahoma is not alone. Eight states in the South and Central U.S. are experiencing rapid earthquake growth as a result human activity, according to a new report from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

“These earthquakes are occurring at a higher rate than ever before and pose a much greater risk to people living nearby,” said Mark Petersen, a USGS official.

The man-made Oklahoma earthquakes are a relatively new phenomenon, the consequence of oil and gas drillers who have taken advantage of the fracking revolution injecting billions of gallons of wastewater underground. The increase in earthquake activity began in 2009, but the Oklahoma state government only acknowledged the role of oil and gas activity for the first time this week.

US Earthquake Map USGS
Courtesy of United States Geological SurveyA map of earthquake activity in the United States shows areas with suspected man-made earthquake activity marked with enclosed black lines.

Energy producers often need to dispose of polluted waste underground to prevent contamination of freshwater. Researchers have suggested that the disposal of drilling wastewater deep underground may increase the stress on fault lines as far as 6 miles away, and subsequently trigger earthquakes.

Thus far, most of the Oklahoma earthquakes have been relatively small. But recent research suggests that bigger quakes may be on the horizon as a result of the reactivation of a 300-million-year-old fault line in the middle of the country, according to a study published Thursday.

The damage caused by even a moderately-sized earthquake in Oklahoma would likely be greater than in a state like California–Oklahoma lacks the tougher building codes that are common in states accustomed to quakes. A 5.6 magnitude earthquake, considered moderate in most places that typically experience earthquakes, rocked the state in 2011. More than a dozen homes were destroyed, and two highways buckled.

The Oklahoma state government said this week that it will take action to prepare for more man-made earthquakes, and launched a website to explain the problem to residents.

Other states experiencing human-induced earthquakes include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, and Texas, according to the USGS.

Previous research has suggested that fracking, a controversial process of oil and gas extraction that involves opening up fractures in shale rock deep underground, may be in part directly responsible for some of these earthquakes, but the USGS says that the process is only “occasionally the direct cause of felt earthquakes.” Wastewater injection is a more common cause.

Read More: Earthquake Insurance Becomes Boom Industry in Oklahoma

TIME Natural Disasters

143 Million Americans Are Now Living in Earthquake Zones, Scientists Say

A youngster walks past a parking structure that collapsed during Sunday's 6.0 earthquake in Napa, California August 25, 2014
Robert Galbraith—Reuters A youngster walks past a parking structure that collapsed during Sunday's 6.0 earthquake in Napa, California August 25, 2014

Nearly 20,000 schools may be exposed to ground shaking

Some 143 million Americans in the Lower 48 states are at risk of experiencing an earthquake — with 28 million being in danger of “strong shaking,” scientists claimed on Wednesday.

In a press release, researchers attributed the record numbers to both population migration, with ever more people moving to earthquake hot-zones on the West Coast, and a “change in hazard assessments.”

The data nearly doubles the 1994 FEMA estimation of 75 million Americans who could potentially experience tremors during their lifetime, according to a collaborative study from researchers at the United States Geological Survey, FEMA and the California Geological Survey.

The new report also calculated the potential financial loss from damages to buildings like schools, hospitals and fire stations. They said the average long-term cost is $4.5 billion per year with 80% of total being concentrated in California, Oregon and Washington.

“While the West Coast may carry the larger burden of potential losses and the greatest threat from the strongest shaking, this report shows that the threat from earthquakes is widespread,” said Kishor Jaiswal, the researcher who presented the findings.

Researchers identified 6,000 fire stations, 800 hospitals and nearly 20,000 schools throughout the Lower 48 they deemed “may be exposed to strong ground motion from earthquakes.”

TIME Natural Disasters

‘Isis’ Removed From UN List of Hurricane Names

It was replaced with Ivette

Don’t expect Hurricane Isis to hit anytime soon.

The U.N. has removed “Isis” from its official list of future hurricane names, deeming it inappropriate because of the rise of the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), Reuters reports.

Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said it’s not unprecedented for the group to strike hurricane names.

“Names are knocked off the list, which rotates every six years, if they are considered inappropriate if they caused too much damage and too much death,” Nullis said.

She told TIME how the process works to take a name off the list: “There was consensus on this. These sorts of decisions are always taken by consensus, there is never a vote.”

The WMO Hurricane Committee has replaced the name Isis with Ivette.

 

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