Student Corner

Earthquake: A Natural Threat to Nepal

Written by: Sameer Dahal - 25051, Grade XI

Posted on: 26 November, 2023


An earthquake is a natural calamity due to sudden shaking of the earth’s surface caused by the release of energy from geological processes. This energy is typically released when tectonic plates, which make up the Earth's crust, move or interact with one another. Earthquakes can vary in intensity, from minor tremors that go unnoticed to catastrophic events causing widespread destruction. Earthquakes can cause environmental destruction and can take many lives. Earthquake-prone regions are often located along tectonic plate boundaries, such as the "Ring of Fire" encircling the Pacific Ocean. A seismometer measures earthquakes and its unit is the Richter scale. Japan is the most affected country by earthquakes. Education and awareness of earthquakes are essential in our country, too.


Earthquakes in Nepal

Nepal has been affected by destructive earthquakes from time to time. The most dangerous earthquake that happened in Nepal was of 8.0 magnitude in 1934, on 15 January. In Nepal, this earthquake is known as ‘90 Saal ko Bhukampa’ that occurred in 1990 BS. This earthquake is the most terrible earthquake faced by Nepal as it killed more than 10,000 people. After this earthquake, we saw another one of 7.8 magnitude in 2072, in Baisakh. 8,857 died in this earthquake and many historical structures were damaged like Dharahara, Patan Durbar area, etc. Due to this earthquake, many rich people had to run for their lives. People were very much affected by this earthquake. Earthquakes often shake Nepal as one came a few days ago and killed hundreds people. We Nepalese are really afraid of earthquakes as we suffer from them very often. Some are of high magnitude and some of low magnitude. Each year, Nepal observes National Earthquake Safety Day on January 15th or 16th (Magh 2 in the Nepali calendar) in commemoration of the devastating earthquake of 1934, one of the most devastating earthquakes in living memory, where more than 8000 people lost their lives.


Earthquake Awareness

In Nepal, school students are taught about earthquakes and awareness of earthquakes because earthquakes are a great danger to Nepal. Nepal is highly susceptible to earthquakes due to its location along the convergence of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates. This tectonic collision has resulted in the ongoing geological activity that gives rise to frequent and potentially devastating earthquakes in the region. The seismic energy that accumulates along the boundary of these massive plates is released in the form of earthquakes, making Nepal one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. The country's unique geography, with its rugged terrain and densely populated areas, exacerbates the danger. The capital, Kathmandu, and many other urban centers lie on or near active fault lines, making them particularly vulnerable to seismic activity.



Poorly constructed buildings, inadequate infrastructure, and a lack of preparedness further increase the risk, as a significant earthquake can lead to extensive damage, loss of life, and economic disruption. Efforts are ongoing to improve earthquake preparedness and strengthen building codes in Nepal, but the continued risk underscores the importance of disaster mitigation and resilience-building measures in this highly seismic region.