United Nations
Information Centre | Nepal
High-level Symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction : “Be aware, Be Prepared: Implementing Lessons Learned from other Earthquakes” ( February 2011 )
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Nepal is among the most disaster prone countries in the world. It had devasting earthqaukes in 1934 and 1988. The 1934 earthquake measured 8.4 on the Richter scale is estimated to have killed over 16,000 people in Nepal and India. It caused extensive damages in Nepal: Over 8,500 lives were lost; over 80,000 houses were completely damaged and over 126,000 houses were severely damaged. The more recent earthquake of magnitude 6.6 in Udayapur district in 1988 had killed 721 people and destroyed 64,467 houses. Nepal lies along the boundary of the Indian and Tibetan tectonic plates, which is a region of high seismic activity. On average an earthquake of magnitude 8 or above has occured once every 80 years. A large earthquake is not only likely but also cause far greater damages in terms of deaths and injuries and damages to infrastructures and services. Nepal's largely unplanned and uncontrolled development, the high population density and lack of adequate risk reduction measures to cope with disaster could worsen the possible outcomes. Several studies have estimated the earthquake damages in Kathmandu Valley. A 2007 study bof the UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) had the following damage estimates for an earthquake of 8.3 magnitude in Kathmandu Valley up to 40,000 dead, 95,000 wounded, 90,000 homeless, 60 percent of buildings destroyed, only two or three of 14 hospital with in patient capacity of 30 still functional among others. In addition most of the water pipes and half of the pumping stations and treatment facilities are expected to be seriously affected about 60 percent telephone unusual and over 40 percent of electricity lines and all sub-stations could be non-functional for over a month, while most of the narrow roads would be unusable beacuse of damage and debris. A more recent NSET study suggests that there could be 100,000 deaths and 200,000 injuries.
GoN, UN ,   (2011 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Thematic Group:
 UN : International Peace and Security
13.02.00  -  Disaster Prevention, Preparedness And Relief
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