Kathmandu, May 17

Properties worth Rs 2.93 billion were destroyed in over 15 types of disasters in 2073 BS.

According to National Emergency Operation Centre under the Ministry of Home Affairs, a total of 482 people lost their lives in 2,555 disasters reported during the period. The disasters include avalanche, boat capsize, fire, flood, landslide, heavy rainfall, storm and lightning, among others.

If the 8,979 deaths and 23,302 injuries caused by the devastating 7.6 magnitude earthquake of 2015 and its subsequent aftershocks are excluded from the data of the last five years (2068-2072 BS), casualties from lightning outdo all other types of natural disasters. At least 841 persons were injured while 49 others are still missing.

The NEOC said 12,994 families were affected by the disasters. The disasters also claimed as many as 8,201 cattle and poultry birds. At least 4,218 houses were destroyed or damaged. “The total loss of property is amounted to approximately Rs 2.93 billion. Fire is the single biggest disaster causing a loss of over Rs 2 billion,” NEOC said.

Landslides claimed 147 lives, the biggest killer among the disasters. Similarly, 115 were killed by lightning strike, 101 in floods, 52 in fire, 18 in epidemics, 16  due to high altitude, seven in boat capsize, two in wind storm, one in avalanche and 14 in other disasters like drowning and cold wave.

According to Nepal Disaster Report, 2015, between 2005 and 2015 over 7,000 people lost their lives, over 1.4 million were injured and approximately 23 million rendered homeless as a result of disasters. Overall, more than 1.5 billion people were affected by disasters in various ways. Women, children and people in vulnerable situations were disproportionately affected. The total economic loss was more than $1.3 trillion. Disasters, many of which are exacerbated by climate change, significantly impede progress towards sustainable development, it said.

“Nepal is facing the wrath of natural and human induced disasters with greater frequency and intensity. It is one of the countries most vulnerable to various types of disasters. Disasters are so penetrative in every geographic and societal framework that they are constantly under threat of a multitude of natural disasters,” it warned.