Red Cross launches drive to mitigate impact of quakes

Kathmandu, August 23:

The Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) Kathmandu is launching Community Earthquake Preparedness Programmes in four wards of Kathmandu from tomorrow. Through these programmes, the NRCS Kathmandu aims to raise awareness among the people to mitigate the impact of earthquakes.

As part of the programmes, the NRCS will organise awareness activities among locals, impart first-aid training to the inhabitants, brief the people about search and rescue operations, disaster management, and conduct socio-psychological training programmes. After completion of preliminary activities, a committee will be formed in each ward. These committees will swing to action during earthquakes.

According to Sangha Ratna Shakya, secretary of the NRCS, the programmes are a requisite to minimise devastation caused by earthquakes. “Geologically, Kathmandu is highly vulnerable to earthquake. If people are taught about earthquake preparedness, they will be able to manage the situation. This will also help bring down the number of casualties during earthquakes,” Shakya told this daily.

Earthquake incidents throughout the world have revealed that an efficient and well-trained community plays a crucial role to minimise the deaths and offers physical and psychological back-up during earthquake, Shakya said, adding, “We aim to capacitate the society to handle the disaster on their own.”

It is estimated that, in case of an earthquake as big as that of 1934, about 400 thousand deaths will take place, almost 800 thousand people will be injured and over one million people will be homeless.

The Belgian and Danish Red Cross and the European Union are supporting the programme. The NRCS said it aims to launch the preparedness programmes in other wards of Kathmandu soon.