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Nepal: Natural disasters kill 454, damaging property worth Rs 4.5 billion in a year

Ashok Ghimire, KATHMANDU: A total of 454 people lost their lives to several incidents of natural disasters last year in the country, the official data shows.
According to statistics unveiled by the National Emergency Work Operation Center, the subordinate body of the Home Ministry, 4,188 people were injured in such incidents while 11,533 families were directly affected.
The country suffered 4,282 incidents of natural disasters in the period which ended in the property loss worth Rs 4.48 billion. A total of 689, out of 753, were affected by them which inflicted damages on 3,436 houses, destroying additional 3,654 houses.

State 2 suffered the most in view of human casualties as it recorded the deaths of 83 individuals in such incidents. It is followed by State 3 (81 deaths); State 1 (79); State 5 (70); Gandaki State (64); Karnali State (41); and Far West (36).

State 2 is ahead in terms of the physical losses also as it incurred the loss of over Rs 1.84 billion from such incidences, the Center estimated. The estimation is that State 1 suffered the property loss of Rs 957 million; State 3 Rs 743 million; State 5 Rs 407 million; Gandaki state Rs 269 million; Karnali province Rs 133 million; and the Far West incurred the loss of Rs 55.6 million.

But, State 1 recorded the highest number (1,034) of cases of natural disasters and it is followed by State 2 ( 943); State 3 ( 721); State 5 ( 709); Gandaki province ( 367); Far West ( 294); and Karnali State ( 214).
Last year, fire-related deaths topped the chart of human casualties as 89 people were killed in such incidents; 88 were killed in landslides; 68 were struck to death by lightening; 45 had died from wind and storm-induced accidents; 27 lost lives to wildlife attacks and 31 had died from other causes.
Bara, among 77 districts, suffered the most human loss where 29 people were killed followed by 21 in Solukhumbu district; 20 in Dang; 14 in Myagdi; 12 in Jajarkot; and 13 each in Bajhang, Baglung, Parsa, Rasuwa, and Chitwan.
The report illustrates that the month of Chaita (mid- March to mid- April) is the period when the highest number (486) of natural disasters occurred. The figure is followed by 449 in Baisakh ( mid-April- mid-May); 438 in Push (mid- December- mid-January) ; 372 in Saun (mid-July- mid-August); 369 in Bhadau (mid-August to mid-September); 364 in Magh ( mid-January to mid-February ); 361 in Kattik (mid-October to mid-November) ; 351 in Fagun (mid-February to mid-March) ; 317 in Mangsir (mid-October to mid-December) ; 299 in Asar (mid-June to mid-July) ; 289 in Jeth ( mid- May to mid-June) and 87 in Asoj ( mid-September to mid-October) .

Similarly, the month Chaita was the period when the highest loss was incurred.
In this month, 66 people were killed and 28 alone in Bara and Parsa from the March 29 unexpected powerful storm. Similarly, the deaths figure in Saun was 62; in Jeth was 46; 45 in Baisakh; 43 in Asar; 30 in Magh; 28 each in Asoj and Push; 22 in Kattik; 18 in Mangsir; and 15 in Fagun.

Similarly, the highest economic loss from such incidences was recorded in the month of Saun as the estimated loss figure was counted at 1.34 billion and is followed by 397.2 billion in Kattik; Rs 380 million in Chaita; Rs 343.5 million in Asoj; Rs 326.8 million in Jeth; Rs 323.1 million in Mangsir; Rs 275.7 million in Baisakh; Rs 271.1 million in Push; Rs 224.5 million in Magh; Rs 220.2 million in Bhadau; Rs 192.7 million in Fagun; and Rs 108.1 million in Asar.

12-year strategic action plan implemented

The government has however claimed that it has prepared and implemented a 12-year strategic action plan aimed at disaster mitigation. Under-secretary at the Disaster and Conflict Management Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Vednidhi Khanal, said the ‘Disaster Mitigation National Action Plan 2018-2030’ has been implemented with the objective of building a disaster resilient Nepal taking into consideration the sustainable development goals by minimizing the damage caused by disasters.
The action plan was implemented since mid-July aims to guide the works related to disaster preparedness, response, precaution, information management, minimizing the risk and the post-disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Stating that the federal government could not alone carry out the disaster risk reduction, he stressed on the key role of the State and local governments in this as well.
He acknowledged that disaster mitigation has not been in priority until now, the Under-secretary Khanal suggested the local and State level governments to implement programmes considering the disaster risks to their specific geographical region. RSS

(A storm battered several places in southern Nepal on Sunday, killing 29 people and injuring 600 others as high speed winds tore down houses, flipped vehicles and toppled trees and electricity poles. AP)

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