TIME Nepal

Six U.S. Marines Killed in Nepal Helicopter Crash Identified

Lt. Gen. John E. Wissler, right, speaks during a press meet in Kathmandu
Niranjan Shrestha—AP Lt. Gen. John E. Wissler, right, speaks during a press meet in Kathmandu, on May 15, 2015.

They were supporting post-earthquake relief efforts

The six U.S. Marines who died in a helicopter crash while supporting earthquake relief efforts in Nepal were identified Sunday morning.

Capt. Dustin R. Lukasiewicz of Nebraska; Capt. Christopher L. Norgren of Kansas; Sgt. Ward M. Johnson IV of Florida; Sgt. Eric M. Seaman of California; Cpl. Sara A. Medina of Illinois and Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Hug of Arizona were all killed when their UH-1Y Huey helicopter went down near Charikot, Nepal, Tuesday, according to the U.S. military.

Two Nepalese service members — identified by the Nepalese Army as Tapendra Rawal and Basanta Titara, according to The Associated Press — also died in the crash…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Nepal

Missing U.S. Marine Helicopter Found Crashed Near Nepal’s Border With China

Nepalese army men search for the missing U.S. Marine helicopter in the earthquake affected Dolakha District of Nepal on May 14, 2015.
Niranjan Shrestha—AP Nepalese army men search for the missing U.S. Marine helicopter in the earthquake affected Dolakha District of Nepal on May 14, 2015.

Nepal’s Defense Secretary said three bodies had been spotted by the wreckage

The wreckage of a U.S. marine chopper on an aid mission in Nepal that was reported missing hours after the Himalayan nation was hit by a 7.3 magnitude temblor on Tuesday has been found near the country’s border with China, the U.S. military’s Pacific Command said on Friday.

The wreckage of the UH-1Y Huey helicopter, which was carrying six U.S. marines and two Nepalese soldiers when it was declared missing, was found just before 2 P.M. local time in an area approximately 8 miles north of Charikot, in Nepal’s northeastern Dolakha district. “An assessment of the site is ongoing and a thorough investigation will be conducted,” U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Major David Eastburn said in an emailed statement.

Earlier, Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, a spokesman for Nepal’s home ministry told TIME that the chopper had been found in Dolakha’s Kalinchok village. “It crashed in a slope near Kalinchok [Hindu] temple,” Dhakal said.

Reuters, meanwhile, quoted Iswori Prasad Paudyal, the top civil servant in Nepal’s defense ministry, as saying that three bodies had been found in the wreckage of the chopper. “The search for others is continuing. As the helicopter has broken into pieces and totally crashed there is no chance of any survivors,” he told the news agency.

The helicopter was on a mission to deliver aid to earthquake victims around 85 miles east of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu when it was declared missing. The U.S. marines were part of a joint task force set up in the aftermath of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake on April 25 that killed over 8,000 people.

The quake, which was centered in a mountainous region to the northwest of Kathmandu, was followed by a series of smaller aftershocks — and then on May 12, by violent tremors triggered by a large 7.3 magnitude rupture with an epicenter to the capital’s northeast, between Kathmandu and Mount Everest.

Dolakaha was among the districts hardest hit by the second quake on Tuesday, with the tremors knocking down buildings and killing more than 100 people in the already devastated South Asian nation.

As news of the missing U.S. chopper emerged shortly after Tuesday’s quake, American and Nepalese air and ground forces fanned out across the region in a massive search effort. Indian forces also assisted in the search, according U.S. Pacific Command.

 

TIME portfolio

James Nachtwey’s Latest Dispatches From Nepal

TIME contract photographer James Nachtwey reports from the quake-devastated country

This is second part in a two-part series of dispatches filed by TIME contract photographer James Nachtwey from Nepal, days after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated parts of the central Asian country. Read part one.

The mountains of Nepal are weeping. The restless earth shifted, and thousands of people perished. Many more thousands have been injured. Hundreds of villages have been flattened. Stone houses made by hand were literally shaken apart. But what was created by hand can be rebuilt the same way, and that is exactly what the Nepalese villagers are doing. What can never be replaced are the loved ones, many of whom are still being discovered buried beneath the rubble.

Having witnessed the destruction in Kathmandu and surrounding towns, I attempted to see what had happened in the remote mountain villages. The epicenter of the quake was located in Gorkha District, most of which was inaccessible, except by helicopter. The 301 and 206 Aviation Squadrons of the Indian Army were flying out of Pokhara, airlifting food and supplies and evacuating the injured. It was a fast paced, non-stop operation that required highly skilled pilots to land with very little clearance on small terraced fields carved into the steep mountainsides. Some flights could find no place to land. Others hovered and shoved food, blankets and tarps out of the open helicopter doors.

Photograph by James Nachtwey for TIME

One mission took us to an extremely remote Buddhist monastery deep in the snow-covered, high Himalayas to evacuate a group of young monks from their damaged dwellings.

Barpak is one of the larger villages in the district. 1,200 out of 1,475 houses were destroyed. 69 people were killed. Some are still missing. 150 were seriously injured. The inhabitants quickly began the rebuilding process. Furniture, utensils and personal possessions were slowly salvaged from the ruins, and piece-by-piece, individual stones, wooden planks and corrugated metal, were retrieved and sorted, to be used again. The people were on their own, fending for themselves, as they always had.

A rescue team discovered Pur Bahadur Gurung, 26, buried in the wreckage of a house. Only then did the natural stoicism of the people break down.

International Medical Corps flew into the village of Gumda and set up a two-day, mobile health clinic. As in Barpak, the people busied themselves with dismantling the ruins in order to rebuild. Rejina Gurung, aged 3, was found beneath a fallen roof, and alongside four others from the village who had died, was buried in a field overlooking a broad valley, far below.

The Nepalese are known for their strength and self-reliance, their equanimity, friendliness and spirituality. As their character was being tested by a natural disaster, they revealed an unshakeable resilience. It became clear that who they are has been forged in hardship and closeness to nature.

James Nachtwey is a TIME contract photographer, documenting wars, conflicts and critical social issues.

TIME Innovation

How Survivors in Nepal Are Getting Better Earthquake Aid

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. When local systems failed them, survivors in Nepal lifehacked earthquake aid.

By Abe Streep in Wired

2. Can the same brain drain that’s crippling health care in Africa be used to save it?

By Serufusa Sekidde in Project Syndicate

3. Find out how female Marines are getting the job done.

By Hope Hodge Seck in the Marine Corps Times

4. Learning to use a drill is good. Learning to run the plant is better.

By Sophie Quinton in National Journal

5. We might be able to starve cancer cells to death.

By Sandia National Laboratories

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Nepal

Rescue Efforts Resume After Second Nepal Earthquake Amid Landslide Fears

The upcoming monsoon could affect the already volatile region, experts say

Rescue operations gradually resumed in Nepal on Wednesday amid periodic aftershocks and fears of landslides, one day after a second major earthquake within three weeks rocked the Himalayan nation.

Thousands of Nepalis spent the night in the open after the fresh temblor on Tuesday afternoon, while several have still not returned home after the larger earthquake on April 25 that ripped through the country and claimed over 8,000 lives.

Tuesday’s earthquake measured 7.3 on the Richter scale against the 7.8 magnitude of the previous one, and left 65 dead and around 2,000 injured, reports the BBC. The epicenter was in Namche Bazaar, a popular town on the route to Mount Everest about 76 km from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, but its impact was felt as far as India, where 17 people died in the eastern state of Bihar, and Tibet, where one person was killed in a landslide.

Landslides are an increasing possibility in the still volatile mountain region, and the onset of the monsoons in subsequent months only heightens the potential risk.

“It’s not safe here,” Ram Tamang, a resident of Jure village who lost his wife, mother and three children in a landslide last August, told Reuters. “Last night it was raining hard the whole night and I couldn’t sleep. I’m always worried another landslide will come.”

Hundreds of Nepali troops gathered in the country’s northeastern Charikot district, meanwhile, searching for a U.S. Marine helicopter that went missing on Tuesday while delivering aid to a local village. The UH-1Y Huey helicopter had six Marines and two Nepali soldiers on board, and was reportedly heard talking about fuel problems.

“The info we have is that it is down in one of the rivers, but none of the choppers has seen it yet,” Major Rajan Dahal, second in command of the Barda Bahadur Battalion, told Reuters. “There are 400-plus of our ground troops looking for it also,” he said, in addition to the six other helicopters conducting an aerial search. “By this evening, we might get it.”

TIME Nepal

Why Nepal Is Still Being Hit by Earthquakes

Nepalese military personnel remove debris in search of survivors after a fresh 7.3 earthquake struck, in Kathmandu on May 12, 2015.
Athit Perawongmetha—Reuters Nepalese military personnel remove debris in search of survivors after a fresh 7.3 earthquake struck, in Kathmandu on May 12, 2015.

Tuesday's quake has set off its own series of aftershocks

A second major earthquake struck eastern Nepal on Tuesday, less than three weeks after the country was devastated by a quake on April 25 that claimed over 8,000 lives. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Tuesday’s quake measured 7.3 on the Moment Magnitude Scale, which succeeded the Richter scale in the 1970s, and struck 50 miles east of the capital Kathmandu, close to Mount Everest. Tremors were felt in several Indian states, Bangladesh and China.

At least 42 people have been killed in and more than 1,000 others have been injured. Here’s why Nepal has been struck again and what to expect next.

What is an aftershock?

Large-magnitude earthquakes tend to be followed by several smaller magnitude earthquakes known as aftershocks.

Aftershocks look and act exactly the same as earthquakes, except that they are smaller than the mainshock and defined in their relation to the main event. The only difference is that an aftershock occurs in the same basic location, within an ‘aftershock zone’ and should occur before the rate of seismic activity returns to its pre-mainshock level.

Is Tuesday’s Nepal earthquake an aftershock?

Some aftershocks can occur on nearby faults outside the normal ‘aftershock zone’, but Tuesday’s quake could be seen as separate quake. Whereas the April quake’s epicenter was west of Kathmandu, the May 12 one struck east of the capital, near the Chinese border.

Tuesday’s quake has also sparked off another round of seismic jolts in its wake. Just 30 minutes after the 7.3 quake, an aftershock of 6.3 magnitude hit. There have been another five major aftershocks of magnitude 5.0 or higher.

So are the two unrelated?

There is evidence to suggest that earthquakes can trigger other earthquakes, even outside of their ‘aftershock zones.’ Nepal sits on a continental collision zone between the Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate and the stress changes caused by the first April quake likely triggered the second earthquake on Tuesday. In fact, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) forecast an aftershock in that general area: its modelling suggested a 0.5% chance of a quake between 7 and 7.8 on the scale occurring this week.

Have there been lots of aftershocks since the Nepal quake on April 25?

A steady stream of aftershocks rattled Nepal in the aftermath of the April quake, initially at 15-20 minute intervals. One day after the quake, a shock of magnitude 6.7 struck the same region, causing fresh avalanches on Mount Everest, a landslide on a major highway and was felt in several parts of northern India. By May 1, more than 100 aftershocks with more than a 4.0 magnitude had occurred.

Will there be more to come after Tuesday’s earthquake?

Yes, in general, the greater the size of the earthquake, the higher the number of aftershocks. With any major earthquake, there will always be aftershocks. These can continue for weeks, months and even years. They tend to decrease in number but it’s very difficult to say when or where they’ll happen.

Could the next aftershock be worse?

Sometimes, aftershocks can be larger than the original earthquake, in fact making the original quake a foreshock, tremors that occur before and in the same area as the mainshock. But foreshocks can only be identified once the mainshock has occurred.

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

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TIME Soccer

Soccer Star Cristiano Ronaldo Gives Millions to Nepal Earthquake Relief

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid looks on prior to the start the la Liga match between Athletic Club Bilbao and Real Madrid CF at San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain on March 7, 2015.
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce—Getty Images Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid looks on prior to the start the La Liga match between Athletic Club Bilbao and Real Madrid at San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain, on March 7, 2015

The soccer icon is well known for his acts of charity

UPDATE APPENDED

Cristiano Ronaldo is an expert at striking fear into the hearts of defenders, but off the soccer pitch he’s proved time and again that he’s one of the nicest guys in sports. And the superstar did so yet again recently, donating nearly $8 million to help global charity Save the Children carry out its earthquake-relief efforts in Nepal.

French magazine So Foot reported that Ronaldo donated €7 million (or $7.8 million) to the charity, because he wears No. 7 for his club Real Madrid and country Portugal. He also urged his 102 million Facebook followers to donate as well, according to Sports Illustrated.

Ronaldo is known for his philanthropic endeavors, having donated millions to children in Gaza as well as tsunami-relief efforts in Indonesia. He has also paid individual children’s medical bills on multiple occasions.

Nepal was devastated by a 7.8-magnitude quake on April 25 that has already claimed over 8,000 lives.

Update: Save the Children says the report that Ronaldo gave it a large donation is false. TIME has reached out to the soccer player’s agent for comment.

Read next: 6 Ways You Can Give to Nepal Earthquake Relief

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