The April 25 earthquake was Nepal’s most destructive in 80 years. Villages were flattened and magnificent centuries-old temples were reduced to rubble. Some of the hardest-hit structures included the many poorly regulated residential buildings, built with inadequate reinforcement. And yet, some buildings survived with barely a scratch.
Studying structural and earthquake engineering as part of his PhD research, engineering student Tilak Pokharel soon rushed to meet his family in Nepal, who lived 150km from the earthquake’s epicentre.
He says poorly constructed and seismically vulnerable buildings were the cause of many deaths and injuries.
“The brick masonry structures without reinforcement are very brittle. When an earthquake happens, they immediately collapse,” says Mr Pokharel.
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