Explain the danger as it relates to them
People's safety inside buildings -- such as homes or schools -- is different in Nepal because most of their buildings
are older and made differently than ours are. Most of the people in Nepal are much, much poorer than people in the U.S., and
they don't have the money or materials to make their homes safer.
Earthquakes happen in the U.S., as well. But cities that face a risk of earthquakes have rules about how houses
and schools must be built to make them more sturdy. Those rules, combined with the fact that we have more money to spend on
our buildings, make them safer.
Another factor that makes natural disasters riskier in countries like Nepal is population density. The population
density of that nation is more than 5 times that of the U.S. That means that in one space -- say a house or an apartment building
-- there are five times as many people living there as there would be in the U.S. Because there are more people living in
one space, more are likely to be hurt or killed when a building is damaged in an earthquake.
In part because of these reasons, a severe earthquake is less dangerous to people in the U.S. than it is in Nepal.
When a quake with a magnitude of 6.9 occurred near San Francisco, California in 1989, 63 people were killed. Compare that
to the quake in Nepal, which had a similar magnitude of 7.8 and has killed more than 4,000 people. Both quakes made the ground
move and shook buildings, but the buildings in the U.S. were designed to withstand more without collapsing.