As we continue to see the heartbreaking aftereffects from the April 25 earthquake in Nepal, we're now also seeing how it's affecting culture, too, through damage to the Kaiser Library. Located in Kathmandu, Nepal, the Kaiser Library housed more than 60,000 books, historic manuscripts, ancient texts, and other documents. Although no one inside the library was hurt, roughly a third of the books inside were damaged when the earthquake struck, according to Yahoo! News.
The library itself experienced a severe blow from the quake, which is making cleanup from the tragedy extra-difficult. Aftershocks still frequent Nepal, and because of the damage to the structure, officials have declared that the building is not safe. And with monsoon rains threatening to downpour, it’s become vital that these books are moved to a secure place where they can be protected.
This isn’t the first library that an earthquake has ravaged. The 6.7 magnitude Northridge Earthquake in California caused destruction upon both the Oviatt Library and South Library. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake — a terrifying 9.1 magnitude disaster — inflicted catastrophic damage to libraries in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Maldives, Malaysia, and Thailand. There was also $6 million in ceiling damage in the Cal State Fullerton Library after the 5.1 magnitude quake that occurred in Orange County last year.
As for the Kaiser Library, the government has said it would like to restore the building as part of the rebuilding process. For now, the main concern of the library is trying to preserve these books.
There is still much rebuilding to do in Nepal, which was hit hard; the death toll from the Nepal earthquake is now at more than 8,000 people, and more than 17,000 are injured. Hundreds remain missing. If you're interested, here's how to help Nepal earthquake victims.