Earthquake Safety Day to focus on raising awareness

Kathmandu, January 6

The government is all set to observe the 20th Earthquake Safety Day on January 16 to call to mind the mega-earthquake of January 16, 1934 by linking it to the loss of lives and property that resulted from the April 25, 2015 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.

A meeting of the 20th Earthquake Safety Day National Committee chaired by home secretary Mohan Krishna Sapkota in Singha Durbar on Thursday decided to mark the day with the main theme of ‘’Strong Community and Local Government is the Strong Base of Earthquake Safety’’.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, it will organise the main function in Basantapur on January 16. The responsibility of managing the programme has been assigned to Kathmandu Metropolitan City. National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal will act as member secretary of the day.

At the meeting, joint secretary Krishna Bahadur Raut informed the concerned officials about the nationwide programmes to be organised on the occasion of the Earthquake Safety Day. He said a condolence meeting would be held in New Road at 11:00am to remember the people killed in earthquakes before taking out rally in different parts of the city. He also appealed to all to make the function a great success to raise public awareness on earthquake safety.

Earthquake Safety Day is being celebrated in Nepal since 1999 to spread awareness about earthquake safety methods after the country was crippled in the 1934 earthquake. The 1934 quake of magnitude-8.1 had killed more than 9,000 people  and damaged more than 200,000 buildings.

Similarly, the 7.6-magnitude earthquake of April 25, 2015, the biggest earthquake after 1935 killed nearly 9,000 people and left more than 23,000 others injured. The quake directly affected the lives of eight million people. At least 605,282 private and government buildings were destroyed and  288,261 houses damaged. As many as 14 districts were declared disaster-hit by the government. The most-affected districts share more than 90 per cent of the casualties and  property damage.