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Nepal Earthquake also hits Astronomy Group in Kathmandu

Submitter: Tom Oosterloo
Description: As you are undoubtably aware, on April 25 Nepal was struck by a strong earthquake which killed more than 8000 people and which destroyed thousands of houses across most of the country, with many entire villages completely flattened.

Unfortunately, also the building of the Departement of Physics of the Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, which also houses the Astrophysics Group, did not come through the earthquake unscathed (see picture). Prof. Dr. Binil Aryal, Head of the Physics Deprartment and organiser of the Kathmandu Black Holes, Jets and Outflows Conference in October 2013 (which some people from Dwingeloo attended), reports that the Institute is severely damaged and that in particular the Computation Facility of the Astrophysics Group is almost completely gone. Almost all CPUs have literally crashed, while also most other infrastructure, such as power storage, solar panels, projectors and monitors is basically gone.

The situation in Nepal is still very bad and it will be some time before the government will able to give much support to science and science infrastructure. Therefore a number of astronomers outside Nepal (including some at Astron/Jive) are trying to organise, coordinated by Prof. Dr. Walter Saurer, the former PhD supervisor of Binil Aryal in Innsbruck, support for their Nepalese colleagues in the form of sending used laptops and other useful hardware to Nepal, as well as financial contributions. Astron and Jive have identified some used hardware that will be sent to Nepal, but if you think you can contribute something as well (hardware or money), contact Zsolt Paragi (zparagiATjive.nl) or Tom Oosterloo (oosterlooATastron.nl)
Copyright: Binil Aryal
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