NepalEEW: Testing the feasibility of an Earthquake Early Warning System in Nepal

Pokhara (Nepal) —Due to large earthquakes, a dense population, and vulnerable residential buildings, Nepal ranks among the countries with the world’s highest seismic risk.

In 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal, claiming about 9000 human lives and leaving many homeless. Yet, even larger earthquakes are expected to come in the future. The impact of large earthquakes could potentially be limited by implementing an Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system. Such a system detects the early stages of an earthquake, issues alerts, and provides critical time for users to seek cover or exit a building before the shaking arrives.

Recent advances in the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based technologies have significantly reduced the cost of EEWs, making them available around the world. An open-source initiative, OpenEEW, developed a straightforward, low-cost EEW solution open to the public. The project team is testing the feasibility of EEW in central Nepal by establishing a low-cost real-time earthquake monitoring system based on OpenEEW technology.

The team finished the first phase of the project during which they deployed a total number of 20 OpenEEW stations in central Nepal. The stations are located from Tatopani/Beni on the west to Kathmandu on the east. So far, our network has recorded two small earthquakes, one located near the town of Kushma (M 3.2), the other event was north of Besisahar (M 3.6). Both of the earthquakes were well recorded by the network and characterized in less than 10 seconds after their origin time.

Learn more about this project

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