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Himalayan Megaquake (PBS/DVD/2016)

This 53-minute documentary, part of PBS’ superb NOVA series, is a scary reminder of where the hotspots of potential earthquake damage take place. 

Writer and co-director Liesl Clark (along with the other director, Dick Bower) take their time exploring how many millions of years this megaquake (those above 7.0 on the Richter Scale) took to do such damage a year ago April 25th in Nepal, nestled between India and China:  just under 9,000 deaths in a country of 28 million people, wiping dozens of small communities off the map and – horror of horrors – not completely dissipating the stored-up energy caused by two tectonic plates colliding. 

Using fantastic footage taken at the exact moment of the quake by scientists and regular folk alike, the film is scary and horrifying, and also uplifting by showing the resilience of the Nepalese themselves.  Using interviews of scientific experts, survivors, and outsiders, this documentary certainly gives the feeling of completeness on how nature works and how, in using scientific principles of geologic knowledge coupled with architectural know-how, they can rebuild homes, businesses, religious temples, and hospitals to be more earthquake-resistant.

The found-footage is amazing, and watching the teams of doctors, nurses and other folk working their miracles is intensely heart-warming.  The experts are also solid in their predictions that another Megaquake is coming one day soon, so be prepared.  Important notions for the rest of us, aren’t they?