This paper reports on the damage reconnaissance activities carried out by the authors in Nepal after the seismic event that shook the district of Gorkha on April 25, 2005 and the main aftershock that hit the district of Dolakha on May 12. The first part provides information on the earthquakes’ characteristics, as well as on the large scale effects in terms of fatalities and losses. Seismological aspects are discussed, with an overview of the historic seismicity of the whole area. The most recurrent building typologies are then analysed, with an overview of the constructive practices adopted in Nepal and of the current Standards and Codes. In the second part, damage observed during the reconnaissance activities is reported and discussed, stressing those critical behaviours that could influence the response of structures for other parts of the world. Finally, the paper introduces an ongoing research activity on an innovative methodology for assessing damage, which is based on Ground-Based Lidar (GBL) and Structure from Motion (SfM) data acquisition from unmanned aircraft platforms.
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