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C o m p i l e d b y E r . D i p e n d r a G a u t a m , s t r d y n @y a h o o .

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NB: This document has been prepared for academic purpose and the data presented here shouldn’t be understood as the primary data by
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Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Disaster: From French ‘Desastre’- bad or evil star
Disaster means a situation in which there is a sudden disruption of normalcy within
society causing widespread damage to life and property.
A Disaster is defined as a serious disruption of the functioning of society,
causing widespread human, material or environmental losses, which exceed the
ability of an affected society to cope using only its own resources (EEA, 2006).
The extent of the disaster depends on both the intensity of the hazard event and the
degree of vulnerability of the society. For example a powerful earthquake in an
unpopulated area is not a disaster, while a weak earthquake which hits an urban
area with buildings not constructed to withstand earthquakes, can cause great
misery (GTZ 2001, p. 14).
“While many people are aware of the terrible impact of disasters throughout
the world, few realize that this is a problem that we can do something about.”
Kofi A. Annan (UN Secretary-General), 2004.
Disaster is the situation that far exceeds human capabilities.
NEPAL into Disaster
20th topmost disaster prone country
4th in climate change vulnerability
11th in earthquake vulnerability
30th in flood vulnerability
Kathmandu valley is exposed to the greatest earthquake risk among 21
megacities in the world
Types of Disasters
1. Natural
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2. Human Induced
A disaster can be either natural [rain, flood, cyclone, storm, landslides, earthquake, and
volcanoes] or human induced [war including biological, arson, sabotage, riots, accident
(train, air, and ship), industrial accidents, fires (forest fires), bomb explosions, nuclear
explosions and ecological disasters].
1.1. NATURAL DISASTERS
Natural disasters are a threat to sustainable development. The people most
affected by natural disasters are the poor.
Klaus Toepfer, UNEP’s Executive Director, at the Second International
Early Warning Conference, Bonn; October 16–18, 2003.
To be precise, natural disasters most affect the women, poor, and the excluded
(WPE). Marginalized people get affected by disasters; the case of Koshi dam
breach and Jajarkot cholera outbreak are the paradigms to be considered in this
context.

RISK = HAZARD χ VULNERABILITY
The probability of harmful
consequences, or expected
losses (deaths, injuries,
property, livelihoods,
economic activity disrupted
or environment damaged)
resulting from interactions
between natural or human
induced hazards and
vulnerable conditions.

A potentially
damaging physical
event, phenomenon
or human activity
that may cause the
loss of life or injury,
property damage,
social and economic
disruption or
environmental
degradation.

The conditions
determined by
physical, social,
economic and
environmental factors
or processes, which
increase the
susceptibility of a
community to the
impact of hazards.
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The country has approximately 29 million populations with annual growth rate of
2.25% average. Life expectancy about 63 years, literacy about 65% and urban
population in the municipalities comprise
14.8% of the total owing to migration from the mountains to the plains and towns
there is a tendency to neatly equalize the mountains and the Terai plain population.

The country faces different kinds of disasters such as earthquake, landslides,
floods, drought, Glacial Lake Outburst
Flood (GLOF) etc.
The most potential and notable are the GLOF and avalanches in the Himalaya,
landslides and floods in the Hills and water logging and flash floods in Terai as
well as earthquake everywhere.
All these disasters consume lots of government fund every year and affecting in
socio-economic development as well as poverty reduction.

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(Source: NSDRM report)

MAJOR NATURAL DISASTERS IN NEPAL
1. Landslide
The causes of landslide in Nepal are natural as well as human induced.
Geomorphology of Nepal is very fragile and most of the parts of country fall
under seismically active zone. In general the middle hills are prone to
landslides. The natural phenomena like heavy rainfall, active geotectonic
movements, deforestation and disturbance of hill slopes are also the major
causes for occurring landslides. Fragile geology and annual torrential
precipitation have triggered Nepal Himalaya into the highly disaster prone
region. Every monsoon, Nepal suffers from landslide and causing
intervention in facilities and livelihood. Like, in case of Krishnavir,
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Kathmandu valley used to be isolated from rest of the country. The fragile
Churia region (emerged by the subduction of Indian plate beneath the
Eurasian plate, and also accompanied by the alarming deforestation) suffers
from several hundreds of landslides every year. This has put potential
pressure over biodiversity, and human settlements breaking the basic
amenities of livelihood over this region.

2. Flood
The topographical feature of Nepal is mainly responsible for flood. Flood is
caused by heavy precipitation which may occur at any place except high
Himalayan region during the monsoon season. In general Terai, southern
belt, are prone to floods and flash floods. The flood of July 1993 was the
most devastating. The low land (Indo-Gangetic region) is suffered by flood
every year; the annual torrential precipitation triggers this flood scenario.
Average annual precipitation in Nepal is about 1500 mm; greater than the
world average, and most of this occurs during June to September. The flood
in lowlands creates vicious disasters like epidemics due to polluted water. It
is remarkable to understand that post disaster epidemics is the most
significant cause of death totality in every disaster scenario, like in case of
Haiti earthquake, and Koshi breach in Nepal. Construction of barrages
across Nepal-India border has also induced flood risk in many parts of Terai.
Sometimes, the GLOF explosion has also caused flooding in low lands of
Nepal, causing excessive loss of life and property in downstream side of
such events. Like in case of Libya, the precipitation of more than 150 mm is
taken as possible inundation (flood) situation.


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3. Earthquake
Nepal falls under the seismically active zone mainly due to the subduction of
Indian plate under Tibetan plate. The seismic record of Nepal is available
since 1255 AD. After that, a series of earthquake occurred in Nepal. Major
are in 1408, 1681, 1810, 1833, 1866, 1934, 1980 and 1988 AD. According
to the seismological center of Nepal medium and small size earthquake
event occur in different part of Nepal frequently. Corruption is the major
enhancing factor for most of the disasters, as it is buzzed, ‘earthquakes do
not kill people, rather the creations of people i.e. structures constructed kill
people’ so the corrupted policy, corruption in enforcing building codes, poor
workmanship are inducing the earthquake effects mostly. An Mw 8
earthquake in a barren land is not a disaster, but an Mw 3 earthquake in a
densely populated area is disaster, ergo, it should be understood that,
disasters are those events which exert potential pressures over human
capabilities and exceeding the resilience. Nowadays, earthquakes have been
inseparable parts of Nepalese lifestyle, because, it might be the most
attractive buzz word of 20
th
century in Nepal. The devastating earthquakes
of 1933 and 1988 are the significant events of Nepal so as to draw attention
for policy makers to the general folks.
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(Source: NSDRM report)
4. FIRE
About 86% of the population of the country inhabit in the rural areas mainly
in thatched houses closely clustered where fire hazards are likely to be
common. Most of Terai houses are built through ‘Fus’ and the row houses
closely spaced are caught in fire easily damaging a hefty property loss every
year. Biodiversity and property losses are common effects of fire. The forest
fire usually outbreaks during dry season.
5. GLOF
The impact of climate change has caused GLOF as a major threat in Nepal.
GLOF affects high Himalayan region as well as downstream by extremely
damages of lives and properties. Major events shown in past were Tamor
(1980), Sun Koshi (1935, 1981), Dudh Koshi (1977, 1985), Arun (1968,
1969, 1970), Seti (2013), etc. Nowadays Tsho Rolpa and Emji Glacier Lake
are in most vulnerable stage according to researches.
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NB: This document has been prepared for academic purpose and the data presented here shouldn’t be understood as the primary data by
compiler, however duplicating this document is strictly prohibited. Sources of data are provided as far as possible. ‘SAY NO TO PLAGIARISM’

(Source: NSDRM)
1.2. BASIC PRINCIPLES AND ELEMENTS OF DISASTER MITIGATION
Approach to risk reduction
Natural disasters can’t be prevented meanwhile intensity of the impact can be
subsequently reduced by adopting some preventive measures.
Proper, prompt, and efficient response with participatory approach, rapid response
and rescue, relief and rehab operation, and mitigating post disaster impacts can
help in disaster risk reduction.
The way a disaster attacks is in vicious form, i.e. breeding of disasters within a
disaster is much frequent. e.g. Epidemics after earthquake.
Principles:
a. Pre-Disaster (PMP)
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Prevention- to avoid
Mitigation-to reduce
Preparedness-to counteract or plan before
b. Post-Disaster (3R)
Response-feeling
Recovery-save/rescue
Rehabilitation-start new life
Basic Principles of Disaster Mitigation
Do not harm
Make sure you do not create problem
Stop, look, and listen before taking any action
Make sure you understand the specific of disaster
Don’t act in isolation, coordinate the effort with other group
Think for long term
Give importance to local organizations, and local resources
Understand how do others operate
Be an accountable to those who are trying to help
Communicate your success widely
1.3. GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS
Clear definition of National Policy is essential in order to deal with all
aspects of disaster risk.
Identification of the threats which are likely to be caused by the threat.
Assessment of resources available to deal with the threat.
Organization arrangement which are required to prepare for response
to and recover from disaster events.
Definition of interlinking policies.
Specific natural forces.
Organizational structure for response, relief, rehab, and resettlement as
per Nepal Government policy:
C o m p i l e d b y E r . D i p e n d r a G a u t a m , s t r d y n @y a h o o . c o m P a g e |
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Fig. The structural network throughout the country set up under the provision of ‘Natural Calamity Relief Act,
1982’

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) is designated as the lead agency
responsible for implementation of the Natural Calamity (Relief) Act, 1982.
Central Natural Disaster Rescue Committee (CNDRC), chaired by the Home
Minister, is accountable for preparing and ensuring implementation of
national response policies.
MoHA is responsible for rescue and relief works, data collection and
dissemination of funds and resources. National Emergency Operation Centre
is under the MoHA.