Monday, July 22, 2024
BulletinCivicsPublic Opinion

Disaster and Lessons to Learn

Nepal is located at the intersection of two major tectonic plates, the Indo-Australian and the Asian plate. The Himalayan mountains and earthquakes result from the collision of these plates. These are being pushed up against and underneath one another at a pace of about 5cm per year. Although it may not appear to be much, when this power accumulates, an earthquake occurs, which is highly destructive.
With this study in mind, death from frequent earthquakes is something we can prevent. Mind that earthquakes do not kill people; buildings do. The magnitude of 6.4 earthquakes at 11:47 pm killed hundreds of people and thousands homeless. Let’s look at lessons to learn from the disaster.

Infrastructural Priorities

Believe it or not, 90 percent or more of the budget is assigned for disaster search, rescue, relief, and rehabilitation of impacted households. Surprisingly, less than 10% of the disaster management fund is invested in prevention and preparedness programs internationally.
Rescue and relief operations attract media attention and assist people participating in the deed in receiving praise from the public. It is frequently a public relations exercise for all parties concerned. Applaud security authorities for their promptness. Politicians visible at the scene of a calamity get an advantage over their opponents. Videos of volunteers in fluorescent clothes sifting through the ruins to save a cat, a puppy, or a doll are strong pictures for motivating funders to do more for the victims.
Is all the humanitarian aid attention in the media what a local government should lead? We are taught quotes like prevention is better than cure. This phrase applies to one’s health concern or a natural disaster that claims many lives every year it holds true.

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काठमाडौं महानगरपालिका द्वारा जाजरकोट र रुकुम पश्चिमका भूकम्पपीडितलाई राहत सामाग्री पठाउदै त्रिभुबन अन्तराष्ट्रिय विमानस्थल ll (source: Balen Shah twitter page)

Disaster and Relief

Lower-intensity earthquakes have often struck the hill districts of the Sudurpaschim and Karnali provinces in recent years. At least six individuals were killed in an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6. Several more were hurt, and they also lost their animals and homes due to the calamity. Last month, on October 4, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in the Bajura district injured dozens of people and destroyed several houses. A woman was killed, and 25 people were injured in a separate quake in the same district in January.
Disaster relief is sent immediately by nearby districts or districts like Kathmandu. This kind of treatment seems like a heartfelt gesture from the district that has every resource available. Isn’t it just a behavior of how one treats the poor and unfortunate? The central government stands above all, not treating all the district disasters equally.

Another thing the government must do immediately is discourage disaster tourism for domestic or international do-gooders. Nobody ever learns anything from experience, says George Bernard Shaw, but one must always emphasize the urgency and relevance of possible lessons.

To Conclude

The natural calamities that occur in any part of our country can be prevented with proper precautions. According to expert seismologists, these ‘moderate’ earthquakes may be pre-earthquakes before the mega-earthquake hits. New infrastructural development should be earthquake-resistant as most of the houses in western Nepal are made from mud. We should prepare for the worst, as it is just a matter of time. If we do not learn the lessons from this disaster, lives will be claimed.

Appsha Digital

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