Minister Bhandari stresses curriculum containing information on earthquake

Kathmandu, April 24: Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Damodar Bhandari highlighted the need for a curriculum and textbook containing information on earthquakes. 

Minister Bhandari expressed so while inaugurating a photo exhibition organized by the Department of Mines and Geology as well as Sambahika Samaj Samuha, an organization of working women journalists in Nepal, here today to commemorate the Gorkha Earthquake that occurred in Nepal on April 25, 2015.

Bhandari emphasized incorporating earthquake information, its causes and effects and preventive measures among others that, he viewed, would sensitize the students about seismic activities including quakes thereby reducing the risk of the disaster. 

He asserted, “A person could forget about the damages incurred by the earthquake. The State cannot afford to forget or remain oblivious about it. I pledge to take initiatives on the behalf of the government to incorporate information about earthquakes in the textbooks and curriculum of the schools.”

Stating that Nepal was an earthquake-prone zone, the Minister underscored a detailed study of the quake and observed a thorough precaution. He also drew attention towards building quake-resilient infrastructures to minimize the risk of quakes.

Similarly, the secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Krishna Bahadur Raut, said that the exhibition served as a reminder of the quake that caused a massive humanitarian, physical and economic loss.

It may be noted that an earthquake of 7.9 magnitude had jolted Nepal with an epicenter in Barpak of Gorkha district on April 25, 2015. 

The quake and subsequent aftershocks led to over 9 thousand deaths and over 22,000 injuries besides incurring damages to over 800,000 buildings across the country. 

Likewise, a recent massive quake of 6.4 magnitude was recorded in the western part of the country on November 3, 2023, with an epicenter in Jajarkot district. 

Altogether 156 people were killed and hundreds were injured in the quake while over 80 houses were damaged in Jajarkot and Rukum Paschim among other adjacent districts.

Also speaking in today’s exhibition, Director General of the Department Ram Prasad Ghimire shared that they were preparing a curriculum containing information on earthquakes for various levels. 

He lamented that although they had put in place the ‘National Building Code’, problems were there due to its lax implementation at many local levels.

The code covered requirements for seismic analysis and design of various building structures constructed within Nepal.

Dr Lok Bijay Adhikari, senior seismologist in the Department echoed with Minister Bhandari and Director General Ghimire and pressed for building concrete and sturdy infrastructures that are seismic resilient.

Sambahika Samaj Nepal’s President Chadani Hamal said that they organized the photo exhibition to commemorate the Gorkha Earthquake. She mentioned that they had been consistently enhancing advocacy for disaster risk reduction.  (RSS)

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