At least 157 people have been killed after a powerful earthquake hit a remote region of Nepal on Friday night, officials announced Saturday.
Authorities said hundreds have been injured — though these figures, along with the death toll, are expected to rise as the search for the survivors in the debris of collapsed homes and buildings continues.
Nepal is nestled in the world's most seismically active region, on a major geological faultline where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates collide, forming the Himalayas and making earthquakes a regular occurrence. Not much can be done to protect the country and its neighbors from this unfortunate geographical feature, which puts the lives of those living in the area at risk.
While there's no way to accurately predict when exactly an earthquake will occur, Nepal's situation becomes more problematic because of its flimsy buildings, which can't withstand powerful earthquakes, and growing poor population in rural vulnerable areas, which hamper rescue efforts and contribute to the higher death toll. Nepal must develop mechanisms to quickly and effectively respond to earthquakes to protect its people and national assets.
There's a 50% chance that at least 79.1K people will die as a result of the most deadly earthquake between 2020 and 2029, according to the Metaculus prediction community.