Earthquakes disproportionately affect people in developing countries, where building codes are less rigorous, so the same buildings that we all know and love are ultimately responsible for greater death and destruction than an earthquake of a similar magnitude (7.8) would exactly in a developed country.
Kathmandu’s iconic Bhimsen Tower, for example, killed at least 200 people. Also known as the Dharahara Tower, it has been reduced from 203 feet tall to just 30 feet. This is not the first time earthquakes have destroyed this particular tower, but it may well be the last. Rebuilding it seems like such a daunting prospect.
Related: Learn how you can help the victims of the Nepal earthquake
Kathmandu Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square are hardly recognizable in the ruins. Many Twitter users shared before and after photographs, and honestly, certain parts of each are devastated to such an extent, it’s hard to believe the photographs are taken of the same places that attract roughly half a million tourists each year. These royal palace squares are all UNESCO heritage sites. They are considered priceless to all of humanity. And now they are gone.
The Boudhanath Stupa, which is considered the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of Tibet, has also been damaged. While the dome appears to have survived, this site too is largely unrecognizable. Drone footage published by the National Post illustrates the extent of destruction.
Our hearts go out to the people of Nepal and in other countries suffering in the aftermath, and we appreciate your continued support. Please consider supporting one of the many aid and rescue organizations helping the victims. Here are some of your options.
Via Arch Daily
Images via Shutterstock (1,2), vikkivik/Twitter, Wikimedia (1, 2), cctvnews/Twitter, wikimedia, cctvnews/Twitter.