Back to news
9 May 2015 | News

International efforts to identify post-quake hazards

2 mins Read

70% Complete

In response to the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), National Aerospace and Space Administration (NASA), the University of Arizona, and their collaborators have coordinated an international volunteer team to map and assess hazards created by landslides, rockfalls, and avalanches. The NASA-U.S.Geological Survey-Interagency Volunteer Earthquake Response Team, which now numbers over 40 volunteers from eight different countries, has joined with the British Geological Survey-Durham University-Earthquakes without Frontiers team. Both groups use high-resolution satellite imagery made available by government and private sector agencies such as NASA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Digital Globe, and international groups such as the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters to identify landslides that have affected villages and landslide-dammed rivers that could lead to severe downstream flooding if the dam is suddenly breached. Given the large loss of life and property during and after the earthquake, ICIMOD and its collaborators aim to provide knowledge that can help prevent future disasters in the affected areas.

A rapid analysis report about geohazards in the aftermath of the earthquake was shared with the Government of Nepal on 7 May 2015.

To date, the response teams have identified over 3,000 landslides, and assembled a database of over 250 identified landslides and other large mass movements, focusing specifically on those that were generated by the earthquake and its aftershocks or other secondary effects.

The NASA-USGS-Interagency team examined five events in particular that have either devastated villages or present a significant risk to downstream communities:

The BGS-Durham-EWF team has also identified a zone of widespread, intense landsliding that runs east-west, approximately parallel to the transition between the Lesser and High Himalaya. This zone contains numerous rockfalls and debris avalanches, which are individually localised but together have had catastrophic impacts on roads and villages.

The landslide database will be continually updated with new information from these teams as well as colleagues in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and shared with local governments and agencies coordinating the delivery of aid and assistance. The database is available as kml files on the right side of this page under download box, and galleries of earthquake-related case studies and maps are available here, here and here. To assist with post-earthquake recovery, ICIMOD and the international scientific community will continue to monitor landslide-dammed rivers, secondary landslides, and the development of future landslide hazards as the monsoon draws near.

Contacts:

Joseph Shea
(ICIMOD; joseph.shea@icimod.org)

Greg Leonard
(University of Arizona; gleonard@email.arizona.edu)

Jeffrey Kargel
(University of Arizona; jeffreyskargel@hotmail.com)

Alex Densmore
(Durham University/Earthquakes without Frontiers; a.l.densmore@durham.ac.uk)

Colm Jordan
(British Geological Survey; cjj@bgs.ac.uk)

Dalia Kirschbaum
(dalia.b.kirschbaum@nasa.gov)

Nira Gurung

(ICIMOD;

nira.gurung@icimod.org

)

Stay current

Stay up to date on what’s happening around the HKH with our most recent publications and find out how you can help by subscribing to our mailing list.

Sign Up

related contents

Continue exploring this topic

Pakistani Team Travels to China to Explore Possibilities for Strengthening Yak Value Chains in Pakistan

A team of yak value chain actors from Pakistan travelled to Lanzhou is Gansu province, China, in April 2017 to ...

River basin approach demands coordination among multidisciplinary agencies: interview with Prem Paudel, Chief of the Planning Section, DSCWM

Prem Paudel is Chief of the Planning Section, Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management, Ministry of ...

28 Dec 2016 News
UAVs to Map and Monitor Glaciers in Manang Valley

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is exploring the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to better understand ...

29 Jul 2015 News
Micro-planning in Myanmar

The ‘Rural Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation in the Himalayas (Himalica) Initiative’ facilitated a three-day micro-planning workshop in Kyaung Taung ...

9 Dec 2016 News
Training to Measure Glaciers in Afghanistan, Bhutan, and Nepal

A four-day theoretical training on glacier mass balance monitoring was conducted from 25–28 October 2016 at the International Centre for ...

29 May 2017 Himalica
Vegetable Collection Center Launched in Bagaha, Udayapur

Himalica’s pilot project in Udayapur has been training farmers on climate-smart agricultural practices and technologies that can strengthen vegetable value ...

4 May 2016 News
REDD+ Gorkha International TV coverage

At the request of Deutsche Welle (DW) television service, a team from ICIMOD and DW, travelled to Ludhi Khola watershed in Gorkha, ...

29 Sep 2015 News
Thana Glacier Mass Balance measurement and monitoring in Chamkhar Chu Basin, Bhutan

  The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), with the support of Government of Norway in collaboration with the