Media Advisory: McMaster expert available to discuss structural flaws, rebuilding process in Nepal

HAMILTON, April 27, 2015: Nepal's largest metropolis, nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, is reeling from a devastating 7.8 earthquake that rocked the South Asian country Saturday.

More than 4,000 people have been killed and thousands more injured or feared dead in the capital city of Kathmandu and neighbouring Gorkha district, home to a combined 1.2 million people. The massive earthquake, which also triggered a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest, has left thousands without shelter, water, food or electricity.

Lydell Wiebe, assistant professor, Civil Engineering, is available to comment on the structural flaws affecting much of the architecture and infrastructure in Kathmandu, as well as the challenges that come with rebuilding the surrounding area in the months and years ahead. Wiebe is an expert in earthquake engineering and structural dynamics, and studies seismic engineering with the use of "shake tables" in McMaster's Applied Dynamics Lab.

"The last major earthquake of this scale in Nepal was in the 1930s, in the same area. As far as development that's happened since then, it's pretty unlikely that it would have been designed properly," says Wiebe.

Major improvements could be made during the rebuilding process with minimal adjustments, such as adding steel reinforcements to brick buildings, Wiebe explains.

VIDEO: Watch Lydell Wiebe discuss how to re-use buildings following an earthquake.

Wiebe can be reached at 905-525-9140 ext. 24620 or

McMaster's on-campus broadcast studio is available for conducting live or pre-taped television interviews.


For more information, please contact:

Andrew Baulcomb                                          

Public Relations Coordinator            

Office of Public Relations

McMaster University                                               

905-525-9140 ext. 23585

Monique Beech                                          

Marketing and Communications Strategist             

Faculty of Engineering

McMaster University