Another Nepal earthquake magnified the importance of good disaster relief planning.
Nepal endured a second devastating earthquake Tuesday, adding to a death toll estimated at more than 8,000 and swelling the number of injured and displaced. But more than two weeks after the first quake hit, international relief efforts continue to be frustrated by a series of challenges that could have been foreseen and addressed in advance.
Many questions arise in the aftermath of such calamities: How can disaster relief be initiated quickly and be effective? Which personnel and what expertise are needed? What supplies and equipment? What services? Even experienced disaster relief agencies can benefit from reflection on past disasters to shed light on these questions and inform their current response.
Unfortunately, lessons from the failures of relief efforts after the 2010 Haiti earthquake and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were largely ignored. This new quake only magnifies the significance of Nepal’s failure to learn from past disasters.
By Mahshid Abir and Melinda Moore, May 13, 2015