The Nepal Earthquakes

Experts had Warned for Decades that Nepal Was Vulnerable to a Killer Quake. “It was clearly a disaster in the making,” one scientist said of a geologically unstable region that has long been known for “a Himalayan-scale problem with Third World resources.”

A massive block of Earth’s crust, roughly 75 miles long and 37 miles wide, lurched 10 feet to the south Saturday over the course of 30 seconds. Riding atop this block of the planet was the capital of Nepal — Kathmandu — and millions of Nepalese.

That’s the description of Saturday’s earthquake from University of Colorado geologist Roger Bilham, a world-renowned expert on Himalayan earthquakes. The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that flattened historic buildings in Kathmandu and has taken more than a thousand lives is the latest release of built-up strain from the collision of two of Earth’s tectonic plates.

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Some News from Down Under re Earthquake Planning

Blog reader John Coleman in NZ wrote:

“I am currently working on emergency plans for the health system of the West Coast of the South Island. My personal thinking was that the entire population could be cut odd from all land access for many months and it is heartening to see tht his study suggests that there may be one road which could remain open. It follows the Buller Gorge and is the really long way around. URL for more info.

In addition we have recently had a series of presentations from the researchers at GNS and several universities. * * * The full package is about 14MB, so those who want the full details of the  video presentations please contact John directly at the location noted below.

We also have video recordings of the talks: 
In 2013, Dr Robinson developed a scenario for a South Island Civil Defence exercise based on a major earthquake on the South Island fault and we have found the casualty estimates informative.

While all of this focusses on the South Island fault, the way things are looking in Christchurch, that big fault sould rupture before we have fully recovered from out local ones. I note that the temporary container mall in Christchurch could now be around a lot longer.  We do have a fondness for temporary things.

The shaking intensity may be similar, but the duration could be several times longer. No-one has tried to predict the effects of that yet.

For more information about John’s organization, go to this web site:

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Upcoming Webinar

Announcing a new webinar – “FEMA Promising Practices: Closing Gaps in Local Emergency Plans and Grassroots Emergency Planning”
May 14th, 2015; Webinars begin at 2.30pm ET/1.30pm CT/12.30 pm MT/11.30am PT/8.30am Hawaii.

Registration: Free on-line at

This presentation will share two practices that brought people together to bring about increased knowledge and action on emergency preparedness. First, we will hear about the lessons learned from the Massachusetts Active Planning project, which brought together local disability community members with their localities, to work collaboratively, share resources and expertise about emergency preparedness and response for and with people with disabilities, ultimately enhancing resilience for the whole community. Our speakers will focus on a replicable collaborative, inclusive Community Stakeholder Meeting (CSM) gap analysis process to address issues of community-wide concern, such as needs assessment, resident participation in local emergency planning, risk communication, public preparedness education and creative use of community resources to address emergency needs, for example in emergency shelters. Our second set of speakers will describe an effort to get people with disabilities and other access and functional needs to prepare for emergencies, for that group to communicate needs to emergency responders, and to encourage businesses and local civic leaders to plan cooperatively for needs through periodic community meetings.

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Free E-Book: Designing Crisis Mgmt. Training and Exercises for Strategic Leaders

Thanks to the author, Prof. Eric Stern, for this link to his recent e-book:  Designing Crisis Management Exercises for Strategic Leaders. It is 121 pages long.



Interactive Hurricane Map Provides Local Info

From Emergency Management magazine, an article about a new service of the National Weather Service — an Interactive Hurricane Map.

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Hurricane Prediction for 2015

The esteemed Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science has released their initial forecast for the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season.

The Tropical Meteorology Project at CSU predicts that the season will see below-average activity, “anticipat(ing) that the 2015 Atlantic basin hurricane season will be one of the least active seasons since the middle of the 20th Century.”

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Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools

Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance Center.

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