On April 25, 2015, a catastrophic earthquake rattled Nepal killing over 8000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. Areas of Nepal continue to remain unstable as a result of continuous landslides. According to the International Centre of Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu, five out of six critical landslides that blocked rivers since the earthquake are located in Nepal. Hundreds of people died from a landslide in Langtang, which was triggered by the quake. Landslides will easily cause disastrous impacts in local mountain communities who have already suffered from the quake.
The quake also cracked a huge hydroelectric dam and damaged many others. With the monsoon weeks away, there are growing concerns that heavy rainfall will cause the landslides tobecome even more destructive. Coupled with melting glaciers, intense monsoon rainfall is expected to trigger flooding in a country that’s already broken from the aftershocks of the devastating earthquake.
The government has made little progress in mapping landslide-prone areas, said Bishal Nath Upreti, a retired geology professor and chairman of the Disaster Preparedness Network in Nepal, in Malaymail Online. “It’s very hard to convince the government. They didn’t think it was so important,” Upreti said. “It’s urgent to start now.”
“Donating money to Nepal immediately after the crisis is the easy part”, Tsechu Dolma, a GlacierHub writer, emphasized in a post recently published on NBC News. More importantly, local governments should concentrate on reaching rural families who need fast support, and building long-term strategy for Nepal.
Dolma proposed a three-phase plan to build resilience in Nepal. In the early phase, she strongly recommended channeling funds to trustworthy local organizations, which are capable of providing direct relief in mountain communities. In the middle phase, she believes that reconstructing essential infrastructures, including local schools and hospitals, is extremely important. Lastly, attention should be paid towards developing “grassroots community resilience” to increase Nepal’s adaptive capacity to extreme weathers and disasters.
Here are photographs of Nepal after the earthquake, provided by Tsechu. Read more about her article on NBC News.