By A Staff Reporter, Kathmandu, Apr. 4: It was on March 31, 2019 when a severe rainstorm, which many even claimed to be a tornado, devastated Bara and Parsa districts in the southern plains, killing over two dozen men and injuring several others.
The storm was an unprecedented event and its extremely violent nature had caused severe destruction which was not experienced in Nepal before.
On Monday last week, a storm destroyed half-a-dozen schools in Bajhang; it blew away roofs of schools, disturbing teaching and learning activities.
According to the concerned government authorities, the season when the storm cases reach their peak is commencing and the people need to abide by safety measures.
If we look at the data of past years, extremely violent storms are recorded in recent years. The peak period for storm is mostly around mid-April and May and it is likely coupled with lightning.
“People need to be aware and follow safety measures during this period,” said Anil Pokhrel, chief executive officer at National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) under the Home Ministry.
As per the NDRRMA’s data, eight people died in 77 storm incidents across the country in a year since April 14 last year, and in a decade storms claimed over 80 lives.
While the storms are violent, authorities argue that preventive measures can help reduce the number of casualties.
On April 3, NDRRMA uploaded a video through its YouTube channel regarding storm incidents in Nepal alongside safety measures which the public need to follow.
In the video, people have been suggested constructing their houses with strong foundation, tighten the tin roofs with gabion and J-hooks and not keeping flower pots freely on railings and house top.
“People should also have their windows and doors closed properly during the storm and shouldn’t go outdoors. If someone’s outdoor when the storm arrives, the individual must rush to a safe place at the earliest,” said Pokhrel.
Pokhrel also stressed that children and elderly should be given major priority during the storm and should be rescued to a safer place.
“Unless an individual is in open during a storm, there is higher chance that he/she can get severely injured or even worse. Storms are disasters which should be allowed to pass staying in safe places,” Pokhrel told The Rising Nepal.
If an individual doesn’t find a safe place to rush in during a storm, s/he is recommended to duck and cover the head with hands.
Officials at NDRRMA also informed that security personnel are deployed at the earliest during a storm to rescue individuals and provide relief.
Nevertheless, the season of wind and storm is more likely to cause more damage from the forest fires and fire incidents as storms help fire spread further.