Earthquakes Of Nepal: Research & Analysis

Gandhi Raj Kafle

Facts provide knowledge and teach lessons. But, the question here is – who realises them first – the government or an individual researcher? It is a self-motivated individual researcher, who works seriously and makes facts shining for future generation with research. The government does its work, sees laws of land and people and if it feels things are done and duty is fulfilled, it is okay.
Also, what is seen is government keeps changing and the cycle repeats. In the process, the facts finding and preservation task go messy at an authoritative level. Contrary to this nature of government, what we find is scholars and researchers go deeper. They take facts even from the hole and show them in public. Societies from generation to generation, thus, have been benefitting from the work of such researchers.
Here, we have author Ramesh Jung Sijapati with the under review book “Nepalka Mahabhukampa” to remind timelessly about what had shockingly happened due to the Mega Earthquake of Nepal, 2015, and its innumerable aftershocks. So, the aforementioned context of individual scholarly tradition needs to be connected with Sijapati’s this book because he has taken facts of Nepal’s Mega Earthquake – 2015 from the holes and made them public for benefit of all now and in future.
This book is divided into five chapters. The first chapter tells the background of the study, where readers will find some interesting information about the birth of the idea to write a research-based book on the Great Earthquake – 2015 of Nepal in the mind and heart of the author. The deadly jolts were non-stop and to visit highly affected parts was dangerous, but the author defied such hazards to write this book visiting even Barpak, the epicentre of the 2015 Earthquake in Gorkha District and various places in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavrepalanchowk and Makwanpur.
The second chapter, where we find historical information about the Great Earthquakes of Nepal, is important. To all readers, who faced the bitter experience of the Earthquake – 2015 and helplessly tolerated the irreparable loss of life and lived a miserable life due to damage of property, the Great Earthquake of 1990 BS is a much-heard story. In different contexts and headings, he has discussed the 1990’s Earthquake about the similar Earthquake of 2072 BS. Sijapati has reached to centenarian and nonagenarian resource persons, too, like Rastrakavi Madhav Ghimire, Cultural Expert Satya Mohan Joshi, senior politician Khanuparude Rambabu Prasai and historian Purushottam Shamser JBR and their talks about the Earthquake of now and of then in 1990 BS are authentic inputs for the book.
But, Great Earthquakes in Nepal had occurred before 1990 also. So, to meet this curiosity, the author has consulted historical documents and other publications to give authentic information about all the Great Earthquakes even from the distant past date of 1280 BS. From this date to the latest 7.9 Richter scale Earthquake in 2072 BS, there are already Mega Earthquakes like of 1312, 1401 and 1890 in Nepal and the author has quoted different historical documents like the Gopal Bansabali, Bhasa Bansabali, Gorkha History and publication of newspapers and magazines for his research.
The third, fourth and fifth chapters are exclusively about the Gorkha Earthquake – their titles in the book ‘Impact in the Epicenter of Earthquake’, ‘Loss of Life and Property from the Earthquake’ and ‘Means of Communications Radios and TVs during Earthquake’.
The list of reference materials mentioned in the end part of the book shows the author has extensively consulted both contemporary newspapers and magazines and related historical books and document to write this 400-page book. The last pictorial section is also interesting because it is diverse in coverage – on the one hand, it presents pictures of personalities who have spoken about both 1990’s and 2072’s Earthquakes and on the other hand, the inclusion of pictures of the damaged historical monuments and miraculously rescued four-month-old baby boy Sonish Awal and his mother Rasmita Awal with the author is a forever human interest material.
Coming to the beginning section once again, even the prefaces written for the book by scholar Gyan Mani Nepal, Dinesh Raj Panta, Ram Babu Prasai, Binod Sijapati and that of the author himself are interesting to read because they provide a brief focus on earthquakes of Nepal from different angles.
The inclusion of a long parliamentary speech of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to assure the people and the nation of relief, rescue and reconstruction and renovation after the great damage of the Earthquake has increased the merit of the book.
It is natural to have a huge concern on the part of the executive head no matter what kind of governance system was there or was heading the government. The quotable concern of the old times, according to the book “Nepalko Mahabhukampa 1990” of Bramha Shamser Rana, from the then Prime Minister Juddha Shamser JBR, who said ‘Whatever we can, don’t worry, we will do all possible coming there immediately’ is also a relevant authoritative historical fact. Juddha had been on the tour to Pashchim Nepal Mahakali when Kathmandu and many parts of Nepal were rattled by the 1990’s Great Earthquake.
Sijapatiji’s this book has given words for the voice of the Earthquake victims of 2072 BS. His research and analysis are precious for the time to come. Nepal’s geographical destiny is earthquake-prone and this book will serve all awareness loving readers.