Two earthquakes measuring 5.7 and 6.6 on the Richter scale were reported with epicentres in the Doti district of far-western Nepal on November 8 night and November 9 early hours. Five individuals were hurt and at least six people perished as a result of houses collapsing.
Then, as aftershocks or separate quakes, several minor and moderate earthquakes in Nepal have already been reported. According to experts, the Doti earthquake and subsequent smaller earthquakes in Nepal should be viewed as a warning of impending danger.
Such earthquakes, according to Somnath Sapkota, a former director general of the Department of Mines and Geology, do not stop a huge earthquake, but they do serve as warning signs of impending tragedy.
He states, “Many earthquakes in Nepal like the one that occurred lately do not play a significant part in lowering the immense power stored there. According to the study, there has not been a large earthquake in western Nepal since 1505. Instead, we should view these earthquakes as warning signs and begin making emergency plans.
The extended wait
According to geologist Bishal Nath Upreti of the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, the area west of Gorkha hasn’t had an earthquake larger than eight rectors in more than 500 years.
Upreti claims that an earthquake in 1505 caused the ground to shift up to 20 meters in the direction of western Nepal.
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Studies have demonstrated that an earthquake in 1255 had a significant impact on eastern Nepal. According to Upreti, it was nearly 800 years before there was another significant earthquake.
According to research conducted in Sikkim, the area hasn’t had a significant earthquake in about 1,300 years. Because of this, according to Upreti, millions of Nepalis in eastern Nepal will also be impacted if a significant earthquake strikes that region. According to him, the earthquakes in 1255 and 1505 were substantially larger than those in 1933 and 2015. “Nepal is prone to such deadly earthquakes at any time.”
Lack of readiness
Geologists are unhappy that the government did not do enough to prepare and take precautions, even in the wake of the 2015 earthquake. He claims that the government is not interested in giving already-developed early warning systems top priority.
Although it is impossible to predict when an earthquake will happen, a technology that can record underground waves a few seconds before they happen has been developed.
“The Ministry of Finance has pledged to pass over the budget but we have not yet gotten it,” he says. “Though the financing for the early earthquake warning system has been raised, it will take more than four years to connect it and establish the people resources and technology for it.”
Since the 2015 earthquake, the administration has not showed any interest in improving Nepal’s earthquake preparation. The work to reduce the possible harm has been delayed, he claims, due to a lack of funding.
Upreti claims that despite the Supreme Court’s directive to create a special framework for government planning earthquake disasters and an early warning system, no action has been taken.
What to do
Sapkota takes into account the need to change the government’s strategy and method of operation. Reconstruction efforts have so far only been carried out in Nepal following earthquakes.
However, he adds, “Houses and structures that are vulnerable to earthquake damage should be repaired, retrofitted, and rebuilt as necessary to make them earthquake-resistant.
According to Sushil Gyewali, a former CEO of the disbanded National Reconstruction Authority, the 2015 earthquake in western Nepal may cause harm to 32 additional districts at any time.
More than 700,000 of the 850,000 or so private homes destroyed by the 2015 earthquake in central and eastern Nepal have been rebuilt. The majority of the repair work was finished in central Nepal’s 14 seriously devastated districts.
“It is crucial to put the knowledge we have acquired through the recovery efforts following the 2015 earthquake to use in our planning to reduce the risk posed by earthquakes in Nepal going forward,” he says.