Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

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Posts Tagged ‘Natural Disasters’

Meteorite hits Russian Urals: Fireball explosion wreaks havoc, up to 1,200 injured (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 16, 2013

Friday’s meteorite which struck Chelyabinsk carried a mass of around 40 tonnes, possibly making it the largest recorded object to hit the Earth since Tunguska. It was around 15 meters across when it entered the atmosphere, according to one expert.

“It was a very, very, powerful event,” astronomer at the University of Ontario, Margaret Campbell-Brown, told

But despite its size, it wasn’t the meteorite’s landing that caused the damage.

“The sonic boom was just immense, and it was the boom that caused the destruction – not the actual landing of the meteorite. It was the amazing explosion in the atmosphere as it broke the sound barrier that caused the problem,”Professor of Planetary Science at The Open University, Monica Grady, told RT.

The meteorite – which left more than 1,200 people injured – was undetected until it hit the atmosphere.

“I’m not aware of anyone who saw this coming,” Heiner Klinkrad, head of the European Space Operations Centre in Germany, said.

And the question of whether anyone has the ability to do so still remains unclear.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Climate Change and Sandy: Why We Need to Prepare for a Warmer World

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 4, 2012


Homes devastated by fire and the effects of Hurricane Sandy are seen at the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York City on Oct. 30, 2012.

After a campaign season in which it was the missing in action issueclimate change roared back into relevancy in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Bill McKibben, the writer-turned-activist behind, put it in stark terms. “This is an absolutely unprecedented storm,” he told POLITICO on Monday evening. “This entire year should be a seriously wake-up call—and the public’s beginning to get it.”

Some scientists and science writers, however, were just as quick to caution that we can’t really attribute any single weather event to climate change—and that tropical cyclones like Sandy have proved particularly hard to connect to global warming. Andrew Revkin of Dot Earth drew a clear line against attributing Sandy directly to recent man-made warming, noting that there had been periods in the past when strong hurricanes occurred during cooler years:

There remains far too much natural variability in the frequency and potency of rare and powerful storms — on time scales from decades to centuries – to go beyond pointing to this event being consistent with what’s projected on a human-heated planet. Read the rest of this entry »

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Getting ready for the Big One: Japan chooses disaster-alternative capital

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 16, 2012

The skyline of Osaka, Japan (Reuters / Kimimasa Mayama)

The skyline of Osaka, Japan (Reuters / Kimimasa Mayama)

The Japanese government is considering unparalleled counter-measures to withstand the inevitable earthquakes and tsunamis awaiting Japan in the future. Experts propose preparation of emergency government offices in the country’s five major cities.

One of the main anti-earthquake emergency measures proposed by the Central Disaster Prevention Council is a recommendation to be ready to transfer central government offices, as well as the Bank of Japan and other facilities, in case Tokyo is devastated by a tsunami. The country’s major cities, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka, Sapporo and Sendai are recommended as suitable substitutes because they already have some governmental facilities and branches of the Bank of Japan, Kyodo reports.

A draft report prepared by the Council says a natural disaster damaging administrative, economic and political functions of the central government would “affect our country’s future.Read the rest of this entry »

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Indonesia Earthquake: Tsunami Warning Issued Following Magnitude 8.7 Temblor

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 11, 2012

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia — A tsunami watch was issued for countries across the Indian Ocean on Wednesday after a large earthquake hit waters off Indonesia, sending residents pouring from their homes in panic.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 8.7-magnitude quake was centered 20 miles (33 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor around 269 miles (434 kilometers) from Aceh’s provincial capital. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakistan Avalanche Buries 100 Soldiers On Himalayan Glacier

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 7, 2012

ISLAMABAD — Pakistani soldiers dug into a massive avalanche in a mountain battleground close to the Indian border on Saturday, searching for at least 135 people buried when the wall of snow engulfed a military complex.

More than 12 hours after the disaster at the entrance to the Siachen Glacier, no survivors had been found.

“We are waiting for news and keeping our fingers crossed,” said army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas.

Hundreds of troops, sniffer dogs and mechanical equipment were at the scene, but were struggling to make much headway into the avalanche, which crashed down onto the rear headquarters building in the Gayari sector early in the morning, burying it under some 21 meters (70 feet) of snow, Abbas said.

“It’s on a massive scale,” he added. “Everything is completely covered.”

The military said in a statement that at least 124 soldiers and 11 civilian contractors were missing.

Siachen is on the northern tip of the divided Kashmir region claimed by both India and Pakistan.

The accident highlighted the risks of deploying troops to one of the most inhospitable places on earth.

The thousands of troops from both nations stationed there brave viciously cold temperatures, altitude sickness, high winds and isolation for months at a time. Troops have been deployed at elevations of up to 6,700 meters (22,000 feet) and have skirmished intermittently since 1984, though the area has been quiet since a cease-fire in 2003. The glacier is known as the world’s highest battlefield. Read the rest of this entry »

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CLIMATE CHANGE: A three-degree warmer world by 2050?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 30, 2012

JOHANNESBURG, 27 March 2012 (IRIN) – The apocalyptic vision presented on cinema screens of a world devoid of food (Hunger Games) or with too much water (Waterworld) as a result of climate change, is not as far-fetched as some may think. 

The results of a new study by the world’s biggest climate modelling system show that not only could global temperatures cross the two degrees Celsius barrier, but may warm by three degrees Celsius by 2050 if we emit atmosphere-warming gases at the current rate. 

The study, led by Oxford University’s Dan Rowlands posits a substantial increase in global temperatures within little more than a generation. Most recent warnings, including those by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), are more ambiguous, saying a two-degree hike is almost certain “by the turn of the century”.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Build a flood-resilient city

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 29, 2011

One of the few remaining refuges to keep cars dry at the height of 2011 flooding in Bangkok: elevated parkways

Bangkok, 28 November 2011 (IRIN) – Less than a year after Bangkok was chosen as a “role model city” by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) as part of the UN’s 2010-2015 “Making Cities Resilient” campaign, the worst floods in half a century put that distinction to the test. 

IRIN asked experts what the 3,000 low-lying cities such as Bangkok – which includes its delta neighbours – can do to improve their flood resilience. 


A master plan capturing the city’s development visions, priorities and vulnerability is the first step, said Adri Verwey, an urban flood expert atDeltares a Netherlands-based water management think-tank. 

“Cities need to decide the levels of security that they want and which areas need more protection,” he said. 

In the Netherlands, where 26 percent of land is below sea level, cities with a high density of human and economic capital are designed to withstand a one-in-10,000-years flood, while inland, rural and sparsely populated areas are designed to withstand a-one-in-1,250 years flood. 

Find higher ground

Unbalanced development is the weakest point of urban planning in many Asian countries, but Thailand’s case is more extreme in that it has focused all its energy on the country’s business and political capital, said Anisur Rahman, land use planning specialist at the Bangkok-based Asian Disaster Prevention Center (ADPC).  Read the rest of this entry »

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Photos: Hundreds Dead In Turkey Earthquake

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 24, 2011

Turkey suffers a lot of earthquakes. But Sunday’s was a big one. A 7.2-magnitude quake struck the eastern part of the country, killing at least 270 people. But as rescuers scramble to pull survivors from the wreckage, there are fears the death toll could rise to 1,000 or more.

Up to 80 buildings collapsed in Ercis, including a dormitory, and 10 buildings in Van, the Telegraph reported. quoting the Turkish Red Crescent.

There have long been fears that a large earthquake could strike the Turkish megacity of Istanbul. If a quake of Sunday’s magnitude did strike Istanbul, which is Turkey’s capital, analysts fear that the unprepared metropolis would suffer massive amounts of damage and loss of life.

Turkey has a long history of powerful earthquakes. In 1999, a quake killed about 18,000 people. Turkey straddles two massive tectonic plates: the Eurasia and the Africa/Arabia plates.

Turkey earthquake 1 20111024


Yunus, a 13-year-old earthquake survivor with a hand of a victim on his shoulder, waits to be rescued from under a collapsed building by rescue workers in Ercis, near the eastern Turkish city of Van. Oct. 24, 2011.

(Umit Bektas – Reuters)

Turkey earthquake 2 20111024

A view shows damaged buildings amid debris after an earthquake in Ercis, near the eastern Turkish city of Van. Oct. 24, 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

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HOW TO: Measure an earthquake

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 3, 2011

BANGKOK, 3 October 2011 (IRIN) – While the Richter scale is the most easily recognized measure of an earthquake’s

Haiti's earthquake measured 7.0 in magnitude, but was more destructive than other similarly strong quakes due to its shallow depth, and other factors

magnitude, seismologists say several more dynamic measurement methods have eclipsed it since it was developed more than 70 years ago.

IRIN considers current best practices around the world -from the standard magnitude indicators that replaced the Richter scale to prediction models that estimate an earthquake’s economic impact on society.

Moment magnitude scale (Mw)

Today, the most common calculation method for magnitude – the amount of energy released by an earthquake at its source – is the moment magnitude scale (Mw).

Developed in the 1970s by Hiroo Kanamori, professor emeritus at the California Institute of Technology, Mw was designed to succeed several magnitude scales, including the 1930s-era Richter scale, whose model was solely based on the geology of California, where earthquakes are mostly shallow.

By taking into account the actual area of fault line ruptured, Mw gives a more consistent measurement to earthquakes no matter how deep.

“The media still say Richter scale in news reports, but seismologists use magnitude only. Magnitude can be calculated with different formulas,” Takeshi Koizumi, seismologist at the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA), told IRIN.

Koizumi said these data are very important for seismologists to predict tsunamis and other earthquake-induced hazards. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hurricane Irene 2011: More Than 2 Million People Told To Move To Safer Places

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 27, 2011

Some safety measures available in this link: http://ram­kshrestha.­wordpress.­com/2011/0­8/27/hurri­cane-irene­-readiness­-and-safet­y/
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Hurricane Irene: Readiness and Safety

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 27, 2011

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Hurricane Irene began lashing the North Carolina shore on Saturday, foreshadowing with brutal authority what is to come as this vast storm, its most forceful winds stretching outward for 90 miles, churned north toward New York.

It would be very bad if we hit like how news media saying! be alert. Here some safety measures:

First off, the hurricane will probably not be as bad as the news makes it out to be and for most of us will more likely be an interesting and exciting day. However, it currently looks like it will hit NYC as a type 2 hurricane, which is stronger than was originally thought, so you do need to be cautious.

There will probably some power outages and depending on the extent of the outages, it could take several hours to get it back up.

The MTA has already said that it will be halting all service and expects that there will be some damage due to flooding. So… it may be some time before it is all up and running again. Currently the scheduled shut down for all MTA services is Noon on Saturday.

The real danger is from flying objects (such as lawn furniture or wind chimes) that the wind picks up and whips around. So of course you should stay indoors.

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NEPAL: Training schoolchildren in earthquake preparedness |

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 17, 2011

BHAKTAPUR, 17 August 2011 (IRIN) – For schoolboy Sabin Dulal knowing



what to do in the event of an earthquake is more than practical, it is life-saving.

“If there is a disaster, I can immediately help myself and those around me,” the 15-year-old said, applying a tourniquet to a fellow student’s leg. He was attending an earthquake simulation exercise outside Panchakanya Secondary School in Nepal’s Bhaktapur District, 30km outside Kathmandu.

“Now I know I can make a difference,” he said.

Sabin is one of a small, but growing number of students aged 11-16 being trained by the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) in first aid, triage, light search and rescue, and basic disaster management planning.

Undertaken in consultation with the National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET), the initial one-year pilot programme launched in 2010 has already made a difference.

“Students feel empowered by this,” Santa Ram Dulal, the school’s headmaster and a Red Cross volunteer, told IRIN. “They now have real life-saving skills – skills they can then take back to their homes and communities.”

To date more than 20,000 students, teachers and residents have benefited from the effort, which has targeted 50 schools in the districts of Bhaktapur and Nuwakot.  IRIN Asia | NEPAL: Training schoolchildren in earthquake preparedness | Nepal | Education | Natural Disasters.

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Russian solar probe to predict Earthly cataclysms

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 29, 2011

Some scientists believe bursts of solar activity cause natural disasters on our planet, but until now the star has been too

difficult to reach or explore in any detail. Some Russian researchers think they have the solution.

Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis – apocalyptic pictures are becoming an ordinary part of news bulletins across the globe. And scientists are not giving out reassuring forecasts.

“Unfortunately, we’re expecting more severe cataclysms which may lead to large-scale human losses and destruction,” says Baku-based Professor Elchin Kakhalilov of the Global Network for the Forecasting of Earthquakes.“I’m talking about even a possible shift of the centers of our entire civilization.”

The change in the Earth’s seismic activity coincides with the rise of activity on the sun. Scientists have been witnessing gigantic bursts of plasma on its surface and say they are affecting our planet, even though it is over 90 million miles away.

Each burst sends billions of particles into space which impacts the Earth’s magnetic field. This may trigger some of the processes going on deep bellow its surface, leading to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Scientists predict solar activity will increase and say in the next few years, large-scale disruptions of electronic equipment, radio transmissions, computer failures and massive black-outs could become parts of everyday life.

The sun is currently monitored either by stations on Earth or in orbit. But sending a probe four times closer to the star would be far more helpful. And it may not be science fiction much longer, thanks to a project currently being developed by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). Read the rest of this entry »

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Natural Disasters Displaced 42 Million In 2010; Climate Change Could Be Factor, Experts Say

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 6, 2011

In this rate this year could be worse than last year.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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CLIMATE CHANGE: Community-based adaptation in action

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 26, 2011

JOHANNESBURG, 26 April 2011 (IRIN) –  Nepal has become one of the first countries to consider scaling up

Photo: Peter Murimi/IRIN Sujit Kumar Mondal and his wife Rupashi Mondal of Gopalgonj district in southern Bangladesh working in their floating garden

community-based adaptation (CBA) to climate change and making it part of national development policy.

Nepal is vulnerable to rising global temperatures and has already been dealing with the impact of erratic rainfall, frequent droughts and floods, which have been affecting food security. In response the country decided to experiment with a bottom-up approach using Local Adaptation Plans of Action, or LAPAs, in 10 districts across the country in 2010.

In a joint paper on local adaptation plans, Bimal Raj Regmi, a researcher, and Gyanendra Karki, a government official, said the idea of drawing up LAPAs came out of the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA) process.

They noted that Nepal, as one of the last of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to develop its NAPA, was able to incorporate elements omitted from the adaptation plans of other countries.

These include better links to climate change planning processes and mainstreaming national adaptation goals down to the local level, so that the NAPA process moved beyond regional and national consultation to include the input of vulnerable communities in the LAPAs.

The LAPAs are developed by people from various sectors in a village or district who identify local climate risks, vulnerability and needs, and focus on increasing resilience based on the geographical location and assessments made by the community using their knowledge of the local environment.  Read the rest of this entry »

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