Research to reality: Eyewitness to the 2015 Nepal earthquake

After 30 years in high-tech marketing and general management, Anne Sanquini began a second career as a researcher studying how to motivate people to take precautionary action to protect their homes and school against earthquakes.  Her work over the past four years led her to Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. She was on the ground during the April 25 earthquake, the very quake she had been preparing for.
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Anne Sanquini stood in the conference room on the fourth floor of a Kathmandu Valley hotel and thanked her team of Nepalese researchers for helping produce and test a video about earthquake preparedness. It was just before noon when she hit the play button on the video she and her team had spent months creating. Music played over images of Nepalese men and women proudly relating stories about how they had successfully retrofitted their homes and schools to be more earthquake resistant. Just moments after the video started, the world began to shake.

“It was this deep rolling, the floor lifting and falling and you could feel the direction change – it kept shifting,” Sanquini said of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck central Nepal on April 25. “I could hear glass crashing and a horrible groaning. I really thought that we would go into free fall at any moment, that the floor would just give way below us.” Sanquini and her team found safety beneath the heavy wooden conference table and waited for the quake to stop.

Sanquini is an earthquake hazards researcher who found herself present at the earthquake moment she had spent years preparing for. “It was after only a few seconds that I realized that this was the earthquake that I had feared since starting to work on this research three years ago.” Continue reading…


This episode was produced by Miles Traer, Mike Osborne, and Leslie Chang.

Music used in this episode:
Savane by Yukikaze
Taiko drums by Rocavaco (license available here)