Earthquake disaster risk management efforts in nepal

      The 6.6 Udaypur Earthquake of August 20, 1988 triggered organized efforts towards earthquake risk management in Nepal and the first efforts towards this was the formulation of the Nepal National Building Code (NBC) by the then Ministry of Housing & Physical Planning under a special project. The project benefitted much from the rich experiences of earthquake engineering and seismology of New Zealand by footing the code development process on sound scientific basis: a) a comprehensive earthquake hazard assessment identified the need for the code and its implementation, b) study and analysis of the prevalent building typologies in the country further qualified the need and helped develop the four-pronged strategyfor the code1, c) a study of the prevalent construction materials and technologies in all physiographic and climatic regions helped to ensure continuity of the umbilical linkbetween the code, the indigenous knowledge, traditions and prevalent practices of building construction and to develop appropriate strategies for building code implementation. 

      Further, the code development process triggeredconstructive dialog among scientific and engineering professionals, pressing for a comprehensive approach towards the needs for understanding the hazard and risk and proliferating the understanding among the people and the leaders, the need for earthquake education and knowledge management, the need for reducing the existing risks due to vulnerable buildings, the need for emergency preparedness for earthquake risk, and the need for a strong advocacy for optimal policies of disaster risk management. This process also resulted in nucleating the initial group(s) of enthusiast Nepalese professionals of various disciplines who became the architects of modern-day national concepts and approaches of earthquake disaster risk management in Nepal; the approaches that found acceptance and high level of implement ability in several countries of Asia. Several pioneering initiatives in earthquake risk management and concepts such as the mason training for earthquake –resistant construction, the annual Earthquake Safety Day, seismic vulnerability assessment and retrofitting of schools and non-engineered buildings, community-based earthquake awareness and school earthquake safety program and building code implementation, and so on, emerged and are currently being implemented in the country under several national and local level programs.

Source : ASDMA

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