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Research Report


Alistair D. B. Cook
Maxim Shrestha
Zin Bo Htet
Copyright Date: Apr. 1, 2016
Pages: 16
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-1)

    A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Nepal at midday on 25th April 2015 with the epicentre around the Barpak, Gorkha district. Given the relatively shallow hypocentre at the depth of just 8.2km, tremors were felt across the South Asian subcontinent including parts of Tibet and China in the north.¹ The majority of the loss and damages were however concentrated in Nepal. A year on, aftershocks still continue, now numbering more than 450, which are measured more than 4 on the Richter scale.²

    The powerful tremor and resulting aftershocks had significant impacts in over 30 districts of Nepal including the Kathmandu...

  2. (pp. 2-2)

    Within 3-4 hours of the earthquake, the Nepali government issued a request for international assistance. Altogether 34 countries responded, which translated into 76 Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams comprising 2,242 personnel and 135 K-9 dogs; 141 Foreign Medical Teams (FMT) comprising 1,858 medical professionals and the setting up of 2 field hospitals; and a total of 18 foreign military teams. The foreign military teams comprised engineers, air support personnel, medical professionals, and search and rescue experts.⁶

    India was the first international team to respond with the first teams arriving within the first 12 hours. This was followed by teams...

  3. (pp. 3-7)

    As part of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) programme, the NTS Centre at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), a team of researchers studied the international response to the 2015 Nepal earthquake with the aim of understanding the dimension and scope of the international response and to distil some field observations that can better inform policymakers in the future. The four categories include (i) Strategic Planning; (ii) Aid Delivery; (iii) Aid Provision; and (iv) Aid Distribution.

    This section highlights a collection of salient recommendations for disaster preparedness observed through interviews with key stakeholders based both in...

  4. (pp. 7-7)

    Overall the response to the Nepal earthquake in 2015 was considered a success by most parties interviewed. Across the board, field interview participants expressed that their respective organisations or sectors had responded well, with some noted reservations in the aftermath of the earthquake. This was true of both participants in Nepal as well as various international responders interviewed.

    Despite the relatively positive perceptions however, the field research revealed certain areas that could have been improved. These observations cut across the various aspects of response including strategic planning, aid delivery, aid provision and aid distribution, which have been highlighted in this...