On the occasion of Earthquake Safety Day, which was celebrated the world over on January 16, Earthquake Safety National Committee organised various programmes across the country in order to enlighten the general public about safety measures to be taken to avoid the risk of loss of lives and property when earthquakes occur. Massive earthquakes — probably the worst among the natural catastrophes that Nepalis have witnessed — have occurred in Nepal several times. As studies suggest, Nepal not having witnessed mega-earthquakes in recent times is likely to experience one, any time soon. Moreover, the Himalayan range is most vulnerable to earthquakes, which would also threaten the lives of millions of people living in the vicinity, say experts.
Though several NGOS and INGOs have frequently organised disaster preparedness programmes in the past, they have not been able to reach to the common people, especially the ignorant ones. Most of the damage caused during earthquakes is due to manmade follies, such as construction of buildings without taking appropriate earthquake-preventive measures and victims’ unpreparedness to act wisely under the circumstances, among others. The government should therefore not only educate the public about individual precautions to be taken to avoid any possible damage but also make it mandatory to follow prescribed measures while constructing houses.