A catastrophic earthquake shook Nepal on Saturday, destroying billions of dollars worth of infrastructure and ending the lives of more than 4,000 people.
The country was thoroughly unprepared for such a disaster, despite the event being largely unsurprising.
Scientists had been expecting a major earthquake in the area for a while thanks to historical geological data, but the Nepalese government failed to take action, and as a result few buildings were reinforced to withstand earthquakes, particularly a magnitude 7.8 like this one.
Compounding the issue were numerous aftershocks of considerable strength themselves, which destroyed more buildings and have forced people to permanently evacuate the buildings left standing.
Tent cities are popping up across Nepal, especially around the capital city of Kathmandu, which was near the epicenter and was particularly devastated.
In the wake of the main earthquake, and in spite of the numerous aftershocks, rescue crews have been making excellent progress.
In particular, helicopter crews have been busy rescuing mountaineers stranded on Mt. Everest. The earthquake caused a massive avalanche to rush down the mountain, destroying the base camp and killing 18 climbers.
Additionally, there are a multitude of small isolated mountain villages throughout the area, and the rescue teams are working on finding these villages.
The event has sparked a humanitarian crisis in the region, leaving thousands displaced and homeless.
Nepal itself is massively under-equipped to deal with the damage, with a GDP of a little over $20 billion, and is going to be reliant on foreign aid to fund and assist with cleanup efforts.
Luckily, international aid has been quick to come. Nepal’s neighbors, already jockeying for influence over the country, were quick to respond.
The international community has also pledged money and manpower to help the Nepalese government in this time of crisis.
Though the situation on the ground is worrisome, the influx of international aid is heartening, and promises to ameliorate the effects of the earthquake.
Thankfully, the international community appears to be rallying around the beleaguered state, rather than trying to manipulate it.