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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 17, issue 12 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 2313-2320, 2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 15 Dec 2017

Research article | 15 Dec 2017

Assessment of social vulnerability to natural hazards in Nepal

Dipendra Gautam Dipendra Gautam
  • Structural and Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Kathmandu, Nepal

Abstract. This paper investigates district-wide social vulnerability to natural hazards in Nepal. Disasters such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, epidemics, and droughts are common in Nepal. Every year thousands of people are killed and huge economic and environmental losses occur in Nepal due to various natural hazards. Although natural hazards are well recognized, quantitative and qualitative social vulnerability mapping has not existed until now in Nepal. This study aims to quantify the social vulnerability on a local scale, considering all 75 districts using the available census. To perform district-level vulnerability mapping, 13 variables were selected and aggregated indexes were plotted in an ArcGIS environment. The sum of results shows that only 4 districts in Nepal have a very low social vulnerability index whereas 46 districts (61%) are at moderate to high social vulnerability levels. Vulnerability mapping highlights the immediate need for decentralized frameworks to tackle natural hazards in district level; additionally, the results of this study can contribute to preparedness, planning and resource management, inter-district coordination, contingency planning, and public awareness efforts.

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Short summary
Social vulnerability to natural hazards in Nepal is presented in this article. The findings highlight that most of the districts in Nepal are at a high to very high social vulnerability level. The western parts of the country are found to be more vulnerable than the central and eastern parts.
Social vulnerability to natural hazards in Nepal is presented in this article. The findings...