SPECIAL REPORT

One Year After Earthquake, Nepalese Remember the Lost and Plan for the Future

 
 
Using clay lamps filled with oil, people create images of Dharahara, also called Bhimsen Tower, and the Kasthamandap, two historic structures destroyed in the 2015 earthquake. The event, held the night before the quake’s anniversary, was organized by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office. Kalpana Khanal, GPJ Nepal
Nepal

Events were held in Nepal this week to mark the one-year anniversary of a major earthquake. GPJ’s Nepal team scattered throughout the Kathmandu Valley to photograph the activities.

KATHMANDU, NEPAL — People in Nepal’s capital city and throughout the country gathered this week to mark the first anniversary of an April 25, 2015 earthquake that, with its aftershocks, killed nearly  9,000 people and injured countless more.

Monuments, temples and other religious sites crumbled that day. People, crushed beneath the rubble, were carried to funeral sites where last rites were carried out. Families decamped to temporary shelters in wide, open spaces. As aftershocks – strong, many and without warning – coursed through the earth for months on end, people in Nepal struggled to maintain sanity.

But even as much of the land and many buildings fractured, the soul of this place survived. Rituals, hope and community were on display on April 24 and 25 as the country formally surveyed both what it had lost and it will move on.

GPJ reporters Kalpana Khanal, Shilu Manandhar and Yam Kumari Kandel spent the day before the anniversary, as well as the anniversary itself, photographing people and places, one year later.

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People attend a Nepal Red Cross Society event in memory of 10 people, including three Red Cross staff members and seven blood donors, killed at a blood donation campaign held in the day earthquake happened. The event, held in Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, included rituals carried out for the deceased souls to rest in peace.

Kalpana Khanal, GPJ Nepal

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office displays photographs showing Krishna Mandir, a temple in Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square in Kathmandu, before the earthquake and during rescue operations. The temple was destroyed in the quake.

Kalpana Khanal, GPJ Nepal

Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office workers display Nepal’s national flag in and around Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square before earthquake commemoration ceremonies begin.

Kalpana Khanal, GPJ Nepal

Members of the Ganga Club wait at a blood donation center in Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square. The club is an informal group of Kathmandu citizens raising money for earthquake-affected families. The group also organized the blood donation center with the Nepal Red Cross Society.

Kalpana Khanal, GPJ Nepal

People donate blood at a center organized by the Ganga Club and the Nepal Red Cross Society in Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square.

Kalpana Khanal, GPJ Nepal

Nabin Makaju, left, and Jitendra Jyakhwo, right, both of the Khwopa College of Engineering, stand near a model of a home prepared by construction workers trained to use earthquake-resistant methods. The college organized an international conference, held on and around the anniversary date, focused on earthquake engineering and post-disaster reconstruction.

Shilu Manandhar, GPJ Nepal

The United Nations Development Programme Nepal (UNDP Nepal) showcases information about rebuilding homes post-earthquake. The show is set amid rubble left by the earthquake.

Shilu Manandhar, GPJ Nepal

The exhibit, with information on how to rebuild homes destroyed in the earthquake, is part of UNDP’s Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Programme. This part of the program focuses on three districts: Sindhupalchowk, Dolakha and Gorkha. Architects and civil engineers travel to these districts to raise awareness and train people on rebuilding houses.

Shilu Manandhar, GPJ Nepal

Architect Milan Bagale, left, works with UNDP’s Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Programme, focusing on the Gorkha district. Here, he offers information at the UNDP exhibit about how to rebuild homes.

Shilu Manandhar, GPJ Nepal

Artwork by schoolchildren is showcased at the UNDP exhibit

Shilu Manandhar, GPJ Nepal

A photo exhibition focusing on safe demolition and debris management, livelihood and enterprise recovery is displayed at the UNDP show in Durbar Square in Bhaktapur.

Shilu Manandhar, GPJ Nepal

Members and supporters of the BibekSheel Nepali political party gather at Patan Durbar Square to raise money for earthquake-affected families that still live in temporary shelters. People hold candles and placards with slogans.

Yam Kumari Kandel, GPJ Nepal

Hindus light candles in Kathmandu the night before the first anniversary of the earthquake. The ceremony was designed to remember the souls of those lost in the quake.

Yam Kumari Kandel, GPJ Nepal