NASA Observes Widespread Power Outages After Nepal’s Devastating Earthquake

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In this image captured April 19-28, massive declines in electricity usage are seen in Nepal. They're represented by orange shading.  (NASA)
In this image captured April 19-28, massive declines in electricity usage are seen in Nepal. They’re represented by orange shading. (NASA)

Weather Channel Nepal’s already-shaky and unreliable power grid was dealt a severe blow when a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Asian nation on April 25. Now, satellite data shows us just how widespread the outages were.

In the image above, you can see the power outages that occurred following the tremor, thanks to a new image that was released by NASA’s Earth Observatory. The orange shading shows areas that saw a diminished electricity output the week of the earthquake, while purple dots show where more power was used following the disaster.

The biggest outages were centered in Kathmandu, Bharatpur and Hetauda, while few areas saw an increase in electricity usage once the earthquake crippled Nepal’s infrastructure.

(WATCH: This Is Blocking Earthquake Aid in Nepal)

To develop this map, scientists studied data taken by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite, according to the report. They compared readings from April 19-28 to the same area on March 21-30, using multiple days in each period to minimize error.

“Having information about the rural areas is particularly valuable because disaster response teams have had a great deal of trouble getting to and assessing rural areas,” Eleanor Stokes, a doctoral candidate at Yale University who studies the data sent back to Earth by VIIRS, said in the NASA report.

As of Monday, the death toll in the earthquake has topped 7,300, according to the Associated Press.

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