Zare M.,International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology |
Kamranzad F.,University of Tehran |
Lisa M.,Quaid-i-Azam University |
Rajaure S.,Government of Nepal
Arabian Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2017
This paper aims to determine the damage distribution and to analyze the available strong motion records of the April 25, 2015 Nepal earthquake and its eight aftershocks. For this purpose, an earthquake investigation team was dispatched to Nepal from May 6 to 11, 2015 to evaluate the damages of the epicentral region and the four affected cities containing Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Gorkha, and Pokhara. Based on the observations from the damages to the built environment, an iso-intensity map is prepared on the EMS-98 intensity scale in which the maximum intensity in the epicentral region is estimated to be about VIII. However, based on the geological and geotechnical evidences such as landslide volumes and ground fissures, the maximum intensity can be inferred about IX or X on the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) intensity scale. In addition, the available strong motion data of the 2015 Nepal mainshock and its eight large aftershocks recorded at the KATNP accelerometric station in Kathmandu were processed and analyzed. In order to investigate the probable site effects, the Fourier amplitude spectra (FAS) of the horizontal north-south (N) and east-west (E) components and the average of them (Havg) were divided to the FAS of the vertical (Z) component and thus, the NZ, EZ, HavgZ spectral ratios were calculated. Based on these horizontal to vertical spectral ratios, a low-frequency peak at about 0.2–0.3 Hz (3.5–5-s period) is observed clearly in all the records. Accordingly, the repeated results might imply site amplification due to the thick alluvial deposits and the high groundwater level at the KATNP accelerometric station within the Kathmandu basin. It should be noted that all the horizontal to vertical spectral ratios of the aftershocks show a high peak at around 1.5–3 Hz, which is missed in the horizontal to vertical spectral ratio of the mainshock. On the other hand, considering the low angle of the causative fault plane, a near-source directivity effect on the fault normal direction (here, the vertical component) of the April 25, 2015 mainshock rupture may exist. Therefore, vertical to horizontal spectral ratios (ZN and ZE) were also calculated to find the vertical peak more clearly. The figures confirmed a peak at the frequency of 1.5–3 Hz in the mainshock spectra which is not repeated on the aftershock spectra and thus can probably be attributed as the pulse of directivity effect toward Kathmandu. This inferred directivity pulse can be also well distinguished on the velocity and displacement time histories of the mainshock. © 2017, Saudi Society for Geosciences. All Right Reserved.
News Article | May 4, 2017
After two major earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks rocked Nepal in 2015, many remote farming communities were left completely devastated. In a country where four out of five people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, the disasters dramatically increased the threat of food insecurity, particularly for subsistence farmers and their vulnerable families. Working in cooperation and coordination with the Government of Nepal, FAO successfully reached more than 182 000 farm households in the critical first few months with assistance that helped them resume food production, care for surviving livestock, improve family nutrition and avoid the threat of food insecurity. FAO continues to support Government-led efforts to address and coordinate food security and livelihood needs in the six districts severely affected by earthquake: Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot, Dhading, Gorkha, Rasuwa, Dolakha. FAO is collaborating with five local NGO partners, as well as the Agriculture and Livestock Departments to help organize the repair of community seed storage facilities, provide more grain storage bags and help with the repair of small-scale irrigation infrastructure, using a community-based cash-for-work programme. When disaster strikes Subsistence farmers Jetha Tamang, 53, and his wife Kaili, 50, live in a village west of Kathmandu, where the first earthquake destroyed all but 15 of the 500 houses including theirs. “In the weeks after the earthquake, we had difficulty looking after our family,” Jetha says. “I could only produce enough food for the family to eat, and sometimes not even enough for that, so I had to find extra work.” But the family’s fortunes have improved as they were among 65 000 households to receive a mixed packet of nine varieties of vegetable seeds, including some fast-growing varieties that can be ready to eat in as little as a month. The seeds were supplied by FAO in cooperation and coordination with the Government of Nepal. Timing was critical as the seeds needed to be planted before the monsoon rains arrived. The FAO package also included feed supplements to improve the health and productivity of surviving livestock and grain storage bags to protect remaining seeds and grain. As part of this programme, FAO also successfully reached and additional 40 000 households with larger five kilogramme bags of rice seeds in time for planting. Each bag produces several months of food. Why earthquakes threaten food security Landslides also added to the disaster killing animals in the fields and destroying animal shelters. One in six cows and more than one in three chickens were killed wiping out a lifetime of savings for some families. Nepali farmers traditionally store their seeds and grains in their houses and about half of all households in the six worst affected districts lost virtually all of their stored rice, maize, wheat and millet. Sixty percent of households lost nearly all of their stored seeds. Rice seeds were particularly important for remote communities struggling to replace the seeds they lost, because there was little or no market access following the earthquake, coupled with a rush on remaining local seed supplies. The looming monsoon also posed a crucial deadline. If the staple rice crop was not planted before the rain, farmers would be forced to wait a full year for the next harvest – and be ever more reliant on food aid. If recovery starts immediately there are tangible results Farmers who received the feed supplements for livestock reported a significant increase in milk production – sometimes up to double the regular milk supply. Within months, farmers were harvesting vegetables produced with the FAO seeds, to feed their families or sell in the markets. Some crops such as off-season cauliflower, allowed farmers to earn up to four times the normal price. With the provision of new airtight grain storage bags, families are keeping their remaining food and seed stores safe from insects and other pests. To create income-generating activities in the six key districts a number of initiatives were also launched to provide material and training to women’s groups so they could build plastic tunnels for year-round vegetable production. This will enable the families to improve their nutrition and generate some additional income well into the future. When disasters strike saving lives is the immediate priority but getting communities back on their feet and food-secure without delay while strengthening their resilience to future crises is also critical.
Neupane M.,Government of Nepal |
Thakur J.K.,Environment and Information Technology Center |
Gautam A.,Cologne University of Applied Sciences |
Dhakal A.,Kathmandu University |
Pahari M.,United Nations Children Fund UNICEF
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution | Year: 2014
The act of constructing unprotected/unsealed wells to extract water from deep aquifers is a worrisome ongoing practice in most parts of developing countries of the globe. The paper is first of its kind in exploring sealing technology as a potential mitigation measure to prevent arsenic contamination of deep aquifers. The technology has been assessed not only as a safeguard to potential microbiological or mineralogical contamination of aquifers but also as an adaptive option in case of climate-induced disasters like drought or flood where it can serve as emergency safe drinking water source. This paper puts forward comparative findings of mini-arsenic blanket testing of 358 wells (unsealed) performed at an interval of 8 years in Nawalparasi, district of Nepal, along with the performance monitoring of eight different sealed wells ranging from 20 to 80 m deep for over a period of 7 years. The paper focuses on the construction methodology and performance evaluation of four sealed shallow wells constructed in the same district. Mini-arsenic blanket test results show 38, 37, and 25 % of bore wells with respective increasing, decreasing, and constant level of arsenic concentrations whereas the sealed wells exhibit steadiness in arsenic concentration range of particular tapped aquifers within Nepal drinking water quality standard for arsenic of 50 μg/l over a long period, even though the tapped aquifers lie intercepted in between adjacent arsenic elevated aquifers. Sealed shallow wells exhibit good aquifer seal characteristics beyond potential resultant existing positive difference to cause downward aquifer cross-contamination. The presented technology can be used and replicated in deep/multi-aquifer hydrogeology of Nepal and South Asia for extraction of water from deep and safer aquifers in rural and urban water supply systems by escaping overlying arsenic-contaminated aquifers. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
Mikota S.K.,Elephant Care International |
Gairhe K.,Chitwan National Park |
Giri K.,Government of Nepal |
Hamilton K.,University of Minnesota |
And 10 more authors.
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2015
A comprehensive elephant tuberculosis (TB) survey using culture and four serological screening tests was conducted in Nepal in response to concern raised by wildlife officials that TB could threaten wild populations of elephants, rhinos, and other susceptible species. Captive elephants come into close contact with wild animals during conservation and tourism activities inside Nepal’s national parks. Private and government-owned male and female captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) were included in the study. The mean reported age was 38 years (range 5–60 years). A total of 289 samples from 120 elephants were collected for mycobacterial culture. Culture samples were processed at the National Tuberculosis Centre (NTC) in Nepal and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, IA. Acid-fast organisms were observed in 11 and 21 samples processed at NTC and NVSL, respectively, and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTMs) were isolated from six elephants. There were no isolations of Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium bovis. Blood samples were also collected from 115 of the elephants for serological testing using the Chembio ElephantTB STAT-PAK®, the Chembio MultiAntigen Print Immunoassay test, a multi-antigen ELISA, and an immunoblot assay. Culture and serological results were variable and required careful interpretation to develop criteria to assess TB risk. Elephants were assigned to one of four disease risk groups (high, moderate, low, and undetermined), and management recommendations for each group were made to government authorities. Serological results were prioritized in developing recommendations because of culture limitations and inconclusive culture results. This strategy was based on evidence for the early predictive value of serological tests and the urgent need expressed by wildlife authorities in Nepal to protect their captive elephants, mitigate TB at the captive-wild interface, and safeguard tourism. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Aryal A.,Massey University |
Shrestha T.K.,Wild Buffalo Conservation Alliance |
Ram A.,Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve |
Frey W.,Wild Buffalo Conservation Alliance |
And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Conservation Science | Year: 2011
Wild water buffaloes (Bubalus arnee) are categorized as endangered on the IUCN Red List. With a global population of less than 4,000, the species has a very limited distribution spanning over less than 20,000 km2 in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Bhutan. In Nepal, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve was designated for wild Asian buffalo; this reserve contains approximately 219 individuals, although there is no precise information on the number of pure-bred wild buffalo. The conservation of wild buffalo is of global concern; there are numerous threats due to habitat fragmentation, as well as competition, hybridization, habitat overlap, disease and parasites transmitted by domestic livestock. The reserve provides an area of only 0.80 km2 per buffalo, which is insufficient maintaining a viable population of wild buffalo. It is therefore important to identify further potential habitat and to begin translocation of some of the individuals. A Wild Buffalo Conservation Alliance can play a key role in influencing conservation strategies by conducting detailed research including feasibility studies on translocation, developing awareness, holding workshops and preparing a conservation action plan. In this way the alliance can help to increase the number of wild buffaloes and to maintain a viable population of the species.
Poudel M.P.,Government of Nepal |
Chen S.E.,National Pingtung University of Science and Technology |
Huang W.C.,National Pingtung University of Science and Technology
Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology | Year: 2016
The adverse effect of climate change on agriculture has increased the importance of weather index insurance, particularly in developing countries. By using several econometric models, this study estimated the price and evaluated its effectiveness in rainfall index insurance for rice and wheat in Nepal. Crop yields associated with seasonal rainfall in three crop reporting districts were applied for actuarial estimation. The primary findings suggest that well designed weather index insurance is helpful to reduce the yield risk and stabilize farm income for rice, but results vary across crops and districts. The study results imply that rainfall index insurance is a promising insurance product, particularly for rice. Implementation of rainfall index insurance could increase the investment in cereal production in Nepal. © 2016, Tarbiat Modares University. All Rights reserved.
Kharal D.K.,Government of Nepal |
Kharal D.K.,Tribhuvan University |
Thapa U.K.,University of Minnesota |
St. George S.,University of Minnesota |
And 3 more authors.
Dendrochronologia | Year: 2016
Elevation is a strong determinant of local climate and may therefore be an important factor to consider when examining the association between climate and tree growth. In this study, we developed a set of tree-ring width records for Abies spectablis (D.Don Spach) in the Manang Valley of central Nepal Himalaya and tested how tree growth and the relationship between tree growth and climate varied across a 450-m elevation transect. The sampled trees had a median age of 115 years, and the oldest individual specimen, which was located at 3775. m, had more than 212 rings. The common signal shared across the tree-ring series was relatively weak, which is typical for ring-width chronologies from the Himalayas. Even though these forests are located within a semi-arid climate, temperature had a stronger and more consistent influence on Abies growth than precipitation. All three chronologies across the transect exhibited a negative relationship with mean March-June temperatures, which could reflect the impact of warm weather during the early part of the growing season, possibly mediated through its influence on evapotranspiration and soil moisture. While interannual fluctuations in tree growth were synchronous across sites, longer-term trends in growth varied across the transect, with high-elevation trees showing elevated growth during the last two or three decades and lower-elevation trees behaving just the opposite. These disparate trends suggest the factors that control longer-term trends in forest productivity vary substantially with elevation. For studies intending to use tree-ring width records in the Trans Himalaya as climate proxies, it may be preferable to collect specimens at lower forest sites, where the agreement across the population of trees is stronger. Because longer-term trends in ring width can differ substantially from one elevation to another in this region, it may also be necessary to collect a greater number of samples from several positions along an elevation gradient. © 2016 Elsevier GmbH.
Sudmeier-Rieux K.,University of Lausanne |
Gaillard J.-C.,University of Auckland |
Sharma S.,Government of Nepal |
Dubois J.,University of Lausanne |
Jaboyedoff M.,University of Lausanne
Community, Environment and Disaster Risk Management | Year: 2012
Climate change data and predictions for the Himalayas are very sparse and uncertain, characterized by a "Himalayan data gap" and difficulties in predicting changes due to topographic complexity. A few reliable studies and climate change models for Nepal predict considerable changes: shorter monsoon seasons, more intensive rainfall patterns, higher temperatures, and drought. These predictions are confirmed by farmers who claim that temperatures have been increasing for the past decade and wonder why the rains have "gone mad." The number of hazard events, notably droughts, floods, and landslides are increasing and now account for approximately 100 deaths in Nepal annually. Other effects are drinking water shortages and shifting agricultural patterns, with many communities struggling to meet basic food security before climatic conditions started changing. The aim of this paper is to examine existing gaps between current climate models and the realities of local development planning through a case study on flood risk and drinking water management for the Municipality of Dharan in Eastern Nepal. This example highlights current challenges facing local-level governments, namely, flood and landslide mitigation, providing basic amenities - especially an urgent lack of drinking water during the dry season - poor local planning capacities, and limited resources. In this context, the challenge for Nepal will be to simultaneously address increasing risks caused by hazard events alongside the omnipresent food security and drinking water issues in both urban and rural areas. Local planning is needed that integrates rural development and disaster risk reduction (DRR) with knowledge about climate change considerations. The paper concludes with a critical analysis of climate change modeling and the gap between scientific data and low-tech and low capacities of local planners to access or implement adequate adaptation measures. Recommendations include the need to bridge gaps between scientific models, the local political reality and local information needs. Copyright © 2012 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Kafley H.,University of Missouri |
Kafley H.,Nepal Nature Foundation |
Kafley H.,University of Oxford |
Gompper M.E.,University of Missouri |
And 4 more authors.
Zoology and Ecology | Year: 2015
Small populations with restricted geographic ranges such as rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) are prone to extinction due to anthropogenic factors. The identification of factors underpinning the survival of such species is of critical importance for population persistence. We used VORTEX population viability analysis (PVA) to assess rhino population viability in Nepal. We simulated deterministic single-population models under different scenarios to assess viability of two distinct rhino populations in Nepal: a source population in Chitwan National Park and an augmented population in Bardia National Park. The impacts of poaching on the populations and the potential for rhino translocation from one population to another were assessed under the PVA framework. Population and demographic data were obtained from censuses and from published literature. The model output suggested that the Chitwan population is stable and capable of supplying at least 10 rhinos every 3 years for translocation provided poaching is restricted (≤ 15 animals per 3 years). However, the Bardia population is more vulnerable and unable to persist without supplementation even at the lowest poaching rate (2 animals per year). Supplementation of at least 10 animals every 3 years for 30 years is crucial for establishing a viable population of rhinos in Bardia. This level of supplementation can withstand the poaching rate of ≤ 2 animals per year. Our study demonstrates that poaching is the major factor determining rhino population viability in Nepal. The supplementation of the Bardia rhino population with animals from the Chitwan population and increased effort to reduce poaching are expected to enhance the viability of rhino populations in Nepal. © 2015 Nature Research Centre.
Acharya K.P.,Government of Nepal |
Paudel P.K.,Nepal Academy of Science and Technology |
Neupane P.R.,University of Hamburg |
Kohl M.,Friends of Nature
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016
Injury and death from wildlife attacks often result in people feeling violent resentment and hostility against the wildlife involved and, therefore, may undermine public support for conservation. Although Nepal, with rich biodiversity, is doing well in its conservation efforts, human-wildlife conflicts have been a major challenge in recent years. The lack of detailed information on the spatial and temporal patterns of human-wildlife conflicts at the national level impedes the development of effective conflict mitigation plans. We examined patterns of human injury and death caused by large mammals using data from attack events and their spatiotemporal dimensions collected from a national survey of data available in Nepal over five years (2010-2014). Data were analyzed using logistic regression and chi-square or Fisher's exact tests. The results show that Asiatic elephants and common leopards are most commonly involved in attacks on people in terms of attack frequency and fatalities. Although one-horned rhinoceros and bears had a higher frequency of attacks than Bengal tigers, tigers caused more fatalities than each of these two species. Attacks by elephants peaked in winter and most frequently occurred outside protected areas in human settlements. Leopard attacks occurred almost entirely outside protected areas, and a significantly greater number of attacks occurred in human settlements. Attacks by one-horned rhinoceros and tigers were higher in the winter, mainly in forests inside protected areas; similarly, attacks by bears occurred mostly within protected areas. We found that human settlements are increasingly becoming conflict hotspots, with burgeoning incidents involving elephants and leopards. We conclude that species-specific conservation strategies are urgently needed, particularly for leopards and elephants. The implications of our findings for minimizing conflicts and conserving these imperiled species are discussed. © 2016 Acharya et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.