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A shifting Earth: Nepal earthquake three years later

Jaclyn Whittal

Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 5:00 AM - We all heard about it, it was all over the news. Bodies being pulled from the wreckage. Piles of rubble as far as the cameras could view in the lens. 

In 2015, a severe earthquake, struck near the city of Kathmandu in central Nepal on April 25, 2015. Also called the Gorkha earthquake, it killed some 9,000 people. Many thousands more were injured, and more than 600,000 structures in Kathmandu and nearby towns were either damaged or destroyed.

We had the chance to travel in April with Exodus Travels to check out the beauty of Nepal and the Himalayas in all their glory, and some of the scars were still left from this devastating, historic Natural Disaster.

I chase thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes with my chase partner Mark Robinson for the show Storm Hunters. We can forecast these events well in advance, and watch as the weather evolves, positioning ourselves in the perfect spot to see the storm. The difference with an earthquake is you have no warning at all. The quake took thousands by surprise and the damage was horrific from Kathmandu to the small villages throughout the Gorkha district. 

The quake affected the village of Thulopatel, home of our guide – Sukman. His family home was in ruins when he heard the news, while he was on a guided trek to Base Camp at Mount Everest, where a massive avalanche took the lives of 22 people, making it the deadliest day on the mountain in history. When Sukman finally reached his family, he found out that they were alive, but they had much rebuilding to do. 

There were villages we saw that were close to 2,000 years old and looked like piles of rock. Piles of historical memories that the elders would never get back. Some chose to live in temporary shacks that looked only a little larger than an outhouse, just so they could stay in the village they knew and loved so dearly. 

This, I remind you, is three years after the quake. The villages and the cities that were affected that have been rebuilt, however, have been built with the thought that another earthquake WILL happen again. 

STORMHUNTERS ON TV: Watch THE HEIGHT OF RUIN airing on June 10th 7 pm and 10 pm ET/PT on The Weather Network on TV!

This time, however, they will be prepared. Full recovery is estimated to cost $8.2 billion, with the housing recovery component amounting to $3.8 billion. The World Bank immediately pledged $500 million to support the emergency response. During the reconstruction phase, the most urgent — and largest — need was to rebuild nearly 750,000 houses. 

Sukman has built a beautiful new home for himself and his family, complete with a view of the mountains, a strong wall and sturdy foundations. Within, the home is armed with better rebar (known as reinforcing steel) systems and concrete walls, and beam systems that can fight back again the shaking they experienced before. Let's hope it’s a long time before the country has to suffer like this again. 

Exodus Travels has done a lot of Earthquake recovery work and fundraised for two years to help the locals out. 

WATCH BELOW: NEW episode of Storm Hunters: June 10th don't miss it!

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