The magnitude-7.8 earthquake that hit Nepal Saturday morning has claimed the lives of thousands of people, along with the destruction of numerous landmarks that cannot be replaced. Of the remaining eight million survivors, a majority have been displaced and forced to live in tent cities awaiting aid from outside sources.
With a death toll of 5,000 and rising, damages from the disaster are expected to cost more than $5 billion, according to NPR. Although tourism provides a large portion of Nepal’s revenue, that industry is expected to decline as well. Neighboring countries, like China, India and Pakistan, have offered aid in the form of economic relief and response teams. China has already provided $3 million of immediate relief, and another $200 million in recovery efforts.
The U.S. Agency for International Development has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team, and provided an initial $10 million in aid. The UN has provided $15 million in immediate aid as well. To donate to the Red Cross earthquake relief fund, click here.
Many believe that the recovery process will take years for Nepal. With the disaster, homes, lifestyles and cultural icons have been destroyed. The Kathmandu Valley, containing seven groups of cultural monuments, experienced major damages as well. Several of the icons fell to the ground within seconds. Before and after photos of the sites can be seen here. Six of the destroyed landmarks can be seen as follows:
All photos courtesy of creative commons.
The Boudhanath stupa
The Swayambhunath stupa
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square
Khatmandu Durbar Square
Along with the cultural sites, hikers on Mt. Everest experienced a massive avalanche. Spring climbing on the world’s tallest mountain was called off on Nepal’s side of the mountain. 11 bodies have been retrieved from the mountain as of Monday, according to the New York Times. With hundreds of thousands of Nepali survivors waiting for foreign aid to come, food, shelter and a lack of safe drinking water are among their top concerns. The death toll is expected to rise as survivors, and bodies, are being discovered.