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Earthquake in Nepal 25 April 2015 M7.7 to M8.0

Field mission of CEDIM researchers after earthquake in Nepal

Research team S. Brink, J. Anhorn, B. Khazai, and T. Girard with local interviever at Tudikhel Shelter Site (Foto: S. Brink, KIT).

In June, a team of CEDIM researchers analyzed the impacts of the earthquake in Nepal on April 25 in a two-week field mission. The main focus of the field mission was shelter after the earthquake. With a survey on household-level, the researchers investigated vulnerability to being displaced, information needs and decision processes to seek shelter. During their field mission, the CEDIM team with Dr. Bijan Khazai, Dr. Susan A. Brink, and Trevor Girard from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT and Johannes Anhorn from the Southasia Institute, Heidelberg University, closely collaborated with their colleagues of the National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET) and of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute EERI.

Report on the findings the field mission:

link to the report

For more information also visit: http://www.eskp.de/en/cedim-field-mission-after-the-earthquake-in-nepal/ and this article (Status: May 2016).

CEDIM has been analyzing the earthquake and its impact since April 25th. . The results of the near-real-time analyses are published in several reports.



Reports concerning the earthquake


Report 1 - Status April 27th 2015 20:00

Report 2 - Status May 5th 2015. Focus on shelter response and vulnerability of displaced population

Report 3 - Status May 12th 2015 16:00

Report 4 - Status July 17th 2015



Hazard Information

Official Disaster Name Date UTC Local CATDAT ID
Nepal Earthquake 25-April-2015 06:11:26 +5.45 2015-128

Preferred Hazard Information

EQ Latitude EQ Longitude Magnitude Hyp. Depth (km) Fault Mechanism Source Spectra
28.18 84.72 7.76 Mw 18 (25.04.2015) Thrust GEOFON Avail.
27.78 86.12 7.2 Mw 15 (12.05.2015) Thrust GEOFON Avail.

Location Information

Country ISO Dev. Region Most Impact Building PF HDI (2015) GDP nom. USD Population (2015)
Nepal NP Western Gorkha Average 0.542 3.48 billion 5.27 million
Nepal NP Central Kathmandu Average 0.558 8.84 billion 10.35 million

Preferred Hazard Information

MSK-64 MMI PGA Key Hazard Metrics
VIII-IX VIII-IX 0.5-0.7 g

Gorkha (VIII-IX), Sindhupalchok (VIII), Dolakha (VIII)

Kathmandu (VII-VIII, 0.16g), Patna (IV-V), New Delhi (II-III)

Hazard Description (Intensities and Ground Motion)

Intensities reached VIII on the MMI scale – very well built structures received slight damage. Older buildings suffered great damage. There was also limited liquefaction and many landslides. The epicentral damage seen corresponds to VIII and perhaps very isolated VIII-IX locations on the MMI scale. Over 50 aftershocks > Mw4.7 have occurred, with magnitude 5 and 6 earthquakes continuing to pepper the region east of the epicenter. The fault sense can be seen easily from USGS, Chinese and Geofon data, with the fault break running parallel to the Himalayas toward Kathmandu. At least 60 aftershocks have been strong enough to be felt. A triggered earthquake occurred on the 12th May 2015.



Vulnerability and Exposure Metrics (Population, Infrastructure, Economic)

Nepal has a net capital stock around $39 billion USD with approximately 28.8 million inhabitants. In terms of capital and GDP it is an extremely poor nation with less than $700 (USD) GDP per capita in 2015. It is mountainous in nature and has the chance for many landslides. Kathmandu and the Central and Western regions are key tourist areas for Nepal among others with the area accounting for 5% of GDP through tourism (direct/ indirect). The Kathmandu area has a GDP slightly higher than the rest of Nepal. The direct epicentral region has a lower GDP per capita in comparison. Agriculture (outside Central) and trade are the key components of GDP.


Population distribution across Nepal per ward.


What have been the 2 largest comparable damaging events in the past? None exactly in this region.

Date - Name Impact Size Damage % Social % or Insured % Economic Loss
1934 Bihar Mw 8.0, IX 80,000 buildings destroyed 10,700 deaths ca. $25m USD
1988 Western Mw 6.8, VIII 78,000 destroyed / 76,000 damaged 1004 dead, 300,000 homeless ca. $130m USD


Preferred Building Damage Information