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Country Background Nepal is a youngest republic country in the world. It has declared Federal Democratic Republic in 28 May, 2008. Nepal has always been an independent and sovereign country with glorious history, culture and tradition that date back to time immemorial. It has biggest natural museum in the world. Nepal is of the one richest country in the world in terms of bio-diversity due to its unique geographical position and latitudinal variation.


Location and Size : Nepal is a landlocked country and located within the latitudes of 26 0 22" to 30 0 27" north and the longitudes of 80 0 4" to 88 0 12" East. It covers an area of 147,181 square kilometers between the India and China. Ecological : The country is divided into three broad ecological regions eg. Mountains, the hills and the plain area in the south. On an average, it extends to 885 kilometers in the east-west direction and 193 kilometers in north south direction with a vast variance in elevation that ranges from 70m in south to 8848 meters in the Himalaya. The terrain plane occupies about 17% of the total area of the country while the rest is hills (68%) and high mountains (15%).

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Administrative : The country is divided into five development regions, 14 zones and 75 districts, 58 Municipalities and 3913 village development committees (VDCs). But newly elected constituent assembly and Governments of Nepal has already committed for restructuring the country on Federal System. It will be changed drastically in future. Temperatures : The plain area (southern lowlands along the Indian boarder) has a warm and humid climate. It is the hottest part of the country with summer temperature up to 45 0 C in June/August and down to 5 0 C at night in winter. In the hills, the climate is mild and pleasant for most of the year, falling to about 0 0 C at night in November/February. The mountains are chilly all year round and below freezing in winter.


Rainfall : The mean annual precipitation is about 1500mm, varying according to the location. Generally, 80 percent or more of the rainfall is experienced during the monsoon season. The winter is rather dry in most part of the country. Annual rainfall varies around 300mm in the northern and western areas to over 2500mm in the eastern region. The south eastern part of the country receives high rainfall. The high rainfall in Nepal is during June to September.


Disaster Profile : Nepal has unfavorable natural conditions like fragile geology and steep topography make as one of the most disaster prone country in the world. It faces high magnitudes and intensities of natural hazards such as flood, landslide, earthquake, fire, hailstorms, and Glacier lake outburst flood (GLOF), cloudburst, drought and epidemics. Industrial accidents, explosion, traffic accidents and hazardous events associated with poisonous substances are also recorded.


The stages of Disaster: Prevention: Preventing a hazard incident from occurring, or preventing the worst effects of a hazard Mitigation: Long-term measures, which can minimize the effects of hazard incidents when they do occur. Mitigation measures may be of either ‘structural or non-structural” nature. Preparedness: Measure taken in advance to respond more effectively or timely to an emergency situation. Disaster: The occurrence of an event, which impacts with such severity that the affected community must respond by taking exceptional measures.

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Response: Essential services and/or materials provided at the time of an emergency. Rehabilitation: Immediate repair and initial efforts to re-establish the essential services associated with social and economic functions of a community. Reconstruction: Rebuilding of community services and facilities to a level at least equivalent to those existing before the emergency situation. Development: Sustained efforts intended to improve or maintain the social and economic well-being of a community

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Geological Cross Section of Himalaya

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The major kinds of disaster in Nepal Earthquake : Nepal falls under the seismically active zone mainly due to the sub-duction of Indian plate under Tibetian 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. The seismic zoning map of Nepal, which depicts the primary (shaking hazard), divides the country into three zones elongated in northwest-southeast direction; the middle part of the country is slightly higher than the northern and the southern parts. The flat plains of Terai in the south of the country show the highest level of susceptibility to liquefaction.

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LANDSLIDE : The causes of landslide in Nepal are natural as well as man made. 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. The middle hills and the higher mountains are highly susceptible to landslides including earthquake–induced ones. The middle hills and the high mountains are typically also susceptible to the phenomena of debris flow, including those due to landslide damming, cloudbursts and the resulting debris slides and flows, excessive erosion on the hill slopes, and rock falls. 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 flat plains of the Terai faces sheet flood, and the problem is exacerbated by huge deposition of debris in the riverbed and by construction of embankments across the river flows, especially just across the international border with India ( eg.Laxmanpur Dam).

The major kinds of disaster in Nepal:

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. The forest fire usually outbreaks during dry season. Fire is a problem for all settlements. It is a huge problem in the rural as well as urban areas of the Terai where the summer temperatures go as high as 45 0 C . Glacier Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF): The impact of climate change has caused GLOF as a major threat in Nepal. GLOF affects high Himalayan region as well as down stream by extremely damages of lives and properties. Major events shown in past were Tamor, Koshi (1980), Sun Kosi (1935, 1981), Dudh Kosi (1977, 1985), Arun (1968, 1969, 1970) etc. Now Tsho Rolpa and Emji Glacier Lake are in most vulnerable stage according to researcher. Snow avalanches are prevalent in the Himalayan region – they pose risk to the high mountain tourism industry.

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Others : The epidemic of daiherea, encephalitis, meningitis is common during hot and rainy season. The lightening, hailstorm are other natural disaster. The sudden avalanche and heavy snow fall in winter season sometimes cause heavy loss of human lives and properties. Cyclonic wind is a hazard that destroys horticultural crops in spring, while hailstorm causes significant harm to the summer as well as winter crops, especially in the mountainous areas of the country. An inventory of past disastrous events during 1971-2007 reveals that epidemics, landslide and floods takes the largest toll of life every year, and urban or rural fire are the principle hazards in terms of their extent and frequency of occurrence as well as the spread and intensity of physical and socio-economic impacts.

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Existing Legal & Institutional system The legal framework for disaster management has a long history in Nepal with the Natural Calamity (Relief) Act 2039 promulgated in 1982. This Act allocated the responsibility for preparing and responding to disasters in Nepal to the Government. The Act, for the first time in history of Nepal, provided for a disaster management administrative structure in the country.

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Central Level : It constituted the Central Disaster Relief Committee (CDRC) Minister of Home Affairs as the Chair. The 27-member apex body comprises: The Secretaries of the ministries of Finance The Secretaries of the ministries of Defense The Secretaries of the ministries of Local Development The Secretaries of the ministries of Physical Planning and Works The Secretaries of the ministries of Health and Population The Secretaries of the ministries of Agriculture and Cooperatives The Secretaries of the ministries of Education and Sports The Secretaries of the ministries of Environment The Secretaries of the ministries of Science and Technology The Secretaries of the ministries of Land Reform and Management The Secretaries of the ministries of Industry Commerce and Supplies The Secretaries of the ministries of Foreign Affairs The Secretaries of the ministries of Water Resources The Secretaries of the ministries of Information and Communication

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The Secretaries of the ministries of Forest and Soil Conservation The Secretaries of the ministries of Women, Children and Social Welfare Representatives from the Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Nepal armed Police, and also from the Nepal Red Cross Society, Nepal Scout, Social Welfare Council and the Department of Mines and Geology, the Department of Water-Induced Disasters, and the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology. Following a disaster, the CDRC would meet as and when necessary to address the needs of the affected population and on matters related to all sectors (e.g. food, health, shelter, water & Sanitation, etc.). Because of the devastating effects of the annually recurrent floods, CDRC has been meeting regularly at least twice a year - before the floods to take stock of the flood preparedness status and to augment it, and immediately after to evaluate the response.

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The main functions and duties of the Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee are: Recommend the Government to declare the area affected by natural disasters. Formulation of the national policies regarding the Response and Recovery. Pre-positioning of money, foodstuff, medicines, as well as NFRI. To associate the social organizations in natural disaster risk reduction. Formulation of volunteers group to support the victims of disaster, Direct the district and local committee on the matters related to Response and Recovery. Monitor the works specified by Government for the execution of natural disaster relief works. Assessment of work progress report to Government.

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Regional Level: The Natural Calamity (Relief) Act, 1982 provides for the establishment of regional committees as and when required. During the 1988 earthquake affecting eastern Nepal and the 1993 floods in south-central Nepal, Regional Service Centre established respectively at Biratnagar and Simara provided relief coordination demonstrating the usefulness of setting up regional committees to coordinate relief activities related to more than one district. However, these centers were closed after the emergency operations were over. The main functions and duties of the Regional Natural Disaster Relief Committee are: Provide necessary suggestions to the CDRC. Formulate regional and district level plans on natural disaster. Coordinate district disaster relief committees regarding disaster. Provide disaster related information to CDRC. Implement directions of the CDRC.

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District Level : District Disaster Relief Committees (DDRC) is a permanent outfit at the district level to coordinate relief and preparedness. DDRC is chaired by the : Chief District Officer (CDO) who is the main administrative functionary to maintain law and order at the district level. Other members to DDRC are the representatives of the district level offices of the various public sector agencies such as district water supply office, district education office and district health office. The Local development Officer (LDO) – the district level officer of the Ministry of Local development, who coordinates development works with the elected bodies at the district level, is the member-secretary of DDRC. The Main functions and duties of the District Natural Disaster Relief Committee are: To co-ordinate or direct to coordinate among local committees regarding the natural disaster relief works. To formulate district level plan on natural disaster relief works and submit such plans to the regional committee. To monitor the natural disaster relief work conducted by the Local Committee and supports the ongoing works. To provide information to Regional Committee related to natural disaster relief works from time to time. To work in accordance with the directives of the Central and Regional Committee.

Existing Legal & Institutional system :

Existing Technical Capabilities Nepal has witnessed accumulation of a vast wealth of knowledge in sciences and engineering, has developed a significant cadre of scientists, engineers, and professionals of allied disciplines, have conducted mapping of a variety of natural hazards at suitable scales, and have installed physical capacities for monitoring, analysis, and dissemination of user-friendly information to the public. Some representative examples of such capacities are shown below.

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Department of Mines and Geology: Geological maps of entire country at 1:50,000 scale, Engineering geological maps at 1:10,000 scale for several cities, a network of 21short period seismic stations capable for monitoring uniformly any Magnitude 2 Richter earthquake. Department of Survey: Mapping of the country at 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 scales, digital maps of VDCs, municipalities, aerial photographs at various scale, , real-time operation of continuous GPS stations, access to latest satellite mapping and interpretation capacity Department of Hydrology and meteorology: Country wide hydro-meteorological stations, weather monitoring tracking, analysis, forecast, and dissemination of information for public use. Department of Water- Induced Disaster Prevention (DWIDP): Capacities of research and river/hydraulic modeling, field- research stations for landslide/erosion studies, flood control researches and implementation of mitigation measures for floods and landslide/erosion Department of Urban development and Building Construction (DUDBC): Building research, design of disaster-resistant construction, training directorate, curricula and training centers, training programs for engineers, architects and masons .

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Ministry of Local Development and District Development Offices (DDC) Focal points on DRM in each DDC, information management system networked with 75 districts, District periodic plans for several districts integrating disaster reduction concerns. Academic Institutions (Public and Private) Researches and teachings on aspects of natural and man- made hazards, risk assessment, training capacity. Emergency Responders (Nepal Army, Nepal Armed Police, Nepal Police, Nepal Red Cross Society etc.) A cadre of >150 Medical First Responders and Collapsed Structure Search and Rescue personnel including more than 25 international class Instructors for disaster response, a cache of search and rescue training equipment, country-wide networks, warehouses with emergency supplies (NRCS).

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Hospitals (Public and Private): A cadre of trained personnel and Instructors for Hospital Preparedness for Emergencies, Hospital preparedness plans, experiences of regular mock drills. Municipalities: Cadre of trained personnel, trained masons, disaster management committees in several wards, prep-positioned emergency stores at several locations, etc. Ministry of Home Affairs: Tremendous experiences of responding to disasters, including establishment of coordination mechanism, cadre of professionals trained in UNDAC and INSARAG. Ministry of Health: Rapid Response Teams to tackle epidemic outbreaks, Working Group on Avian-influenza, Emergency health profile of the country, Disaster Health Working Group. Ministry of Agriculture: Damage assessment capacity, experiences of responding to fast- onset (e.g. Debris Flow as well as slow-onset hazard (draught). And so on…….

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