Disaster Cycle for an Earthquake in Nepal:

Having spent some time in Nepal a year or so after the earthquake, and knowing people there who were, and still are, impacted by the disaster, I’ve created a disaster management cycle for an earthquake in Nepal.

As Kahn (2008) states, “disaster occurs only when hazards and vulnerability meet“, and that vulnerability can be broken down into physical and socioeconomic vulnerabilty. Nepal, prior to the earthquake and still to this day, was both physically vulnerable due to poor infrastructure and low building standards, and also socio-economically vulnerable, comparable in economic status to Haiti and Cambodia (see chart below). Hopes that the country would be able to “build back better” as per the Sendai framework have been hindered significantly by the Covid-19 pandemic (Adhikari, 2020), and progress is slow.


Disaster Cycle for an Earthquake in Nepal:


Mitigation and prevention:

Improving building codes along with proper enforcement, plus modernising of vulnerable buildings.

Running earthquake drills and training for emergency services and communities

Land-use planning to minimize exposure to hazards: e.g. by ensuring power stations are not in vulnerable locations.



Developing early warning and public communication systems

Ensuring adequate supplies of emergency equipment and medical supplies

Creating evacuation plans for vulnerable communities


Response and relief:

Activating search and rescue teams

Providing medical aid, clean water and food

Establishing temporary accomodation for displaced people



Reconstructing damaged buildings

Providing essential services such as water and electricity

Providing psychological support and therapy for affected people, especially hidden or marginalised communities



Rebuilding permanent housing and community structures to higher standards, and to better withstand future earthquakes

Financial support for affected individuals and business grants to revitalise local economies.

Making regular assessments of progress and documenting lessons learned



Adhikari, B. et al. (2020) “Earthquake rebuilding and response to COVID-19 in Nepal, a country nestled in multiple crises”, Journal of Global Health, 10(2). doi: 10.7189/jogh.10.020367.

Our World In Data (2018) Human Capital Index vs. GDP per capita. Available at: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/human-capital-index-vs-gdp?country=FSM~NPL~HTI~KHM~GBR~USA~ARE~COD (Accessed: 6 February 2023). Data from World Development Indicators – World Bank (2022.05.26)

Khan, H., Vasilescu, L.G. and Khan, A., 2008. Disaster management cycle-a theoretical approach. Journal of Management and Marketing, 6(1), pp.43-50.

UNISDR. (2015). Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Geneva: UNISDR. [online]. Available at http://www.preventionweb.net/files/43291_sendaiframeworkfordrren.pdf.  (Accessed: 6 February 2023).

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