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National Earthquake Safety Day: Awareness raising through virtual media


Nepalnews
2022 Jan 16, 7:27,

The 24th National Earthquake Safety Day is being celebrated today by organizing various programs across the country in remembrance of the earthquake that struck at 2:24 pm on January 15, 1934 AD. The day is being celebrated under the slogan 'Earthquake Awareness, Safe Structure'. This slogan has been decided with the objective of creating awareness among the people to make earthquake-resistant structures that will not cause damage to human beings. January 16, 1999 AD has been celebrated as the National Earthquake Safety Day. The government started celebrating the day with the aim of raising public awareness about possible earthquakes.

On the occasion of the day, the main function committee is organizing a special program in Patan Durbar area today. Director General of the Department of Urban Development and Building Padam Kumar Mainali informed that only certain people will be physically present in the program and all others will be invited to participate through virtual means. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Home Minister Bal Krishna Khanna, and Urban Development Minister Ram Kumari Jhankri will also address the program through virtual media.

The program has been changed in such a way that only the specified number of organizations including the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Department, Lalitpur Metropolitan City, Earthquake Technology National Society Nepal (NSET) have gathered in the program. According to the original ceremony committee, the program was forced to change due to the new form of coronavirus.

Director-General of the Department, Mainali, who is also the coordinator of the Publicity Sub-Committee under the Earthquake Safety Day Main Ceremony Committee, said that those who want to be a virtual participant can have a zoomID and password on the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The committee has stated that as many people as possible can participate in ZoomID.

On this occasion, it is said that the Earthquake Safety Digital Exhibition will also be organized through a virtual medium. On the occasion of the day, various organizations have been organizing programs to raise public awareness since January 9. As there is an epidemic of coronavirus this year, the program will be conducted by maintaining physical distance and adopting health safety measures.

As this day began to be celebrated, an earthquake with the epicenter of Barpak in Gorkha at 11:56 a.m. on April 25, 2015 BS claimed the lives of about 9,000 people. More than eight million private homes were destroyed. More than 900 archeological sites were destroyed. The quake affected Sindhupalchowk, Dolakha, Gorkha, Ramechhap, Okhaldhunga, Sindhuli, Kavrepalanchok, Makwanpur, Dhading, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur districts. The other 18 districts suffered partial damage.

Six years ago, President Bidyadevi Bhandari inaugurated the reconstruction from Ranipokhari and the Balgopaleshwar temple in the middle. Reconstruction of Ranipokhari and Balgopaleshwar, the sites inaugurated by the President, was completed last year. The rest of the reconstruction work has been handed over to the concerned department after the National Reconstruction Authority formed for post-earthquake reconstruction failed to complete the work within the stipulated period.

Post-earthquake reconstruction is said to be safe as it is earthquake resistant. Various studies have shown that energy has been stored in western Nepal for 500 years without major earthquakes. Concerned bodies, including the department, have given priority to spreading public awareness in the area as the study by experts has shown that there could be huge damage due to future earthquakes. The department has already started an awareness campaign for the construction of earthquake-resistant structures in the western districts from Dang. It is said that cooperation has been made with the local government for this. 

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