NAST installs earthquake early warning system, warns a few seconds in advance

The Nepal government science and technology body, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) has installed an early warning system in its Khumaltar office. According to reports, the early warning system can inform the earthquake in 10-22 seconds in advance. The system relies on the travel of different types of earthquake waves.

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During earthquake two types of waves namely, P-wave and S-wave, are generated. While P-waves travel fast and are less damaging to structures, S-waves are more devastating. The warning system picks up P-waves and warn in advance about the upcoming damaging S-wave.

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Podcast 5 – Post earthquake houses, what are the options?

This podcast is about the options for the Nepali people who want to construct in short term. I discuss on the currently available house designs for the short and long-term residence.

post earthquake residence

As the Nepal Government is working in the revision of the Building Code of Nepal, I suggest waiting for the code to release before any permanent structure is constructed. There are various suggestion including soil test, minimum width of access road and other technical requirements.
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What is an earthquake? A simple Illustration

Although many of us have experienced the scary and devastating earthquake of April 25, I have  found a lot of us don’t understand how shaking damages the buildings. To explain the concept of earthquake load, I have prepared some simple illustrations. I hope they make the concept of earthquake load clear to our readers.

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Let me start by drawing a basic building. I know, buildings don’t look like this, but engineers see them like this skeleton. During  earthquake, buildings are damaged as if it is pushed by a load.

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In reality, nobody pushes the building. It is actually the ground that is moving.

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Podcast 4 – What renters, home buyers and neighbours should know about a house

After the devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015 a new level of concern has been surfaced among the home buyers and home renters. That is because, most of the piller-system houses that collapsed to ruins were either constructed to sell or to rent. The reason of such collapse can be listed as:

  • Use of low grade construction materials
  • Ignoring basic engineering principles
  • Construction without permit

risky house - how to be safe podcast

It is no secret that the government regulating bodies are not as efficient as required. There are various loop-holes in construction practice. Almost everybody agrees that it would take more than just a little bit of effort to plug such loopholes. Change in system takes time and we don’t have the luxury of time. Let’s see what we can do to be safe in a rented house or apartment? How we won’t be cheated in buying a sub-standard house?  Continue reading