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Earthquake In Nepal Triggers Avalanche On Mt. Everest

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Image: Joe Hastings
Image: Joe Hastings

Many countries are sending aid to Nepal after a serious earthquake took place there on Saturday.

Nepal is a country – technically a “federal democratic republic” – located between China and India. One of its best-known features is Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth.

The earthquake’s magnitude (size) was 7.9, which means that it was very powerful. It was felt throughout Nepal but also in regions of India, Tibet, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and even at the Chinese-Nepal border.

Nepal is a low-income country, which “continues to struggle with high levels of hunger and poverty,” according to Wikipedia. This matters, because poorer countries have fewer health resources such as hospitals and medicine, to help during times of crisis.

The earthquake occurred on a “thrust fault,” according to Macleans Magazine. One piece of the Earth’s crust, far underground, is moving at 45 millimetres a year, underneath another piece (in this case, the Indian plate is moving north, underneath the Eurasian plate, according to Macleans).

There was extensive damage to homes and ancient monuments in Nepal, including some temples in the country’s capital city, Kathmandu, that were hundreds of years old. As many as 35 villages have been devastated by the earthquake.

The earthquake also caused a massive avalanche on Mount Everest that has wounded or killed people who were climbing the mountain at the time.

The British Red Cross was one of the first organizations to send aid to the country. They had “thousands of aid items ready for distribution and an emergency blood bank,” in case something like this happened, according to CBC News’s website.

“Aftershocks” or smaller, related earthquakes, continued to occur after the big earthquake. The situation is still unfolding in the region, as aid and money flows into the country to help out its more than 27 million people.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The article clearly explains Nepal’s financial situation in the following paragraph: “Nepal is a low-income country, which ‘continues to struggle with high levels of hunger and poverty,’ according to Wikipedia. This matters, because poorer countries have fewer health resources such as hospitals and medicine, to help during times of crisis.”

What disadvantages (other than fewer hospitals and medicine) do low-income countries have? How would this affect how they are able (or unable) to deal with a disaster such as a serious earthquake?

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
The first sentence of the article states: “Many countries are sending aid to Nepal after a serious earthquake took place there on Saturday.” What is aid? What types of aid would be most needed by Nepal?

While countries and organizations, such as the Red Cross, have already begun to help, individuals around the world have also started to help. Is there anything you can do to help people in Nepal? Brainstorm a list as a class and pick one way that you can work together to help the people affected by this devastating disaster.

Junior
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Language Feature: Word Choice
This article explains the very serious situation currently happening in Nepal and surrounding countries. To show the seriousness of the earthquake, the journalist chose words such as “massive” and “powerful.” What other words were chosen to describe this situation?

Can you think of 5 more words that could adequately describe the earthquake and the current situation in Nepal?