Dharahara is collapsed after an earthquake in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on April 25, 2015. Death toll in Nepal climbed to 711, the country's Home Ministry said Saturday afternoon, hours after a major earthquake struck the country. (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma)
Dharahara is collapsed after an earthquake in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on April 25, 2015. Death toll in Nepal climbed to 711, the country's Home Ministry said Saturday afternoon, hours after a major earthquake struck the country. (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma)

Nepal has suffered its deadliest disaster in over 80 years with a soaring death toll from the devastating quake. Now, how to rebuild the country’s valuable ancient architecture remains a lingering concern for the country.

Dharahara is collapsed after an earthquake in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on April 25, 2015. Death toll in Nepal climbed to 711, the country's Home Ministry said Saturday afternoon, hours after a major earthquake struck the country. (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma)
Dharahara is collapsed after an earthquake in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on April 25, 2015. Death toll in Nepal climbed to 711, the country’s Home Ministry said Saturday afternoon, hours after a major earthquake struck the country. (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma)
According to statistics, more than 400,000 buildings have collapsed in the 7.9-magnitude earthquake that struck central Nepal on April 25. At least 14 historic buildings have been destroyed or severely damaged, including 12 on the list of UNESCO World Heritage.
The damaged buildings mostly lie in the worst-hit Kathmandu Valley, which includes seven locations of historic monuments and buildings: the Durbar Squares (meaning royal palace squares) of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, two Buddhist centers and two Hindu centers.
The massive quake has flattened at least 90 percent of public squares, Buddhist stupas and Hindu temples in the valley, the state-run Nepal TV reported.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is one of the three Durbar Squares. The main temple in Bhaktapur’s square lost its roof, while the Vatsala Devi Temple, famed for its sandstone walls and gold-topped pagodas, was destroyed.
“I cannot express the sadness of loss in words. Various cultural heritages were destroyed, causing a great loss to civilization,” said Bhesh Narayan Dahal, director general of the Department of Archeology in the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
As the search-and-rescue operation continues, the debris of centuries-old temples and palaces has been left unguarded, diminishing chances to eventually rebuild on one of the world’s largest clusters of cultural heritage sites.
Thus, it is of great importance for the Nepalese government and the international community to pay more attention to protect the debris and repair the historical sites in the upcoming post-quake reconstruction.
As for now, Chandra Mani Adhikari, a member of the government’s national planning commission, said that the country will make an action plan as quickly as possible to preserve all these damaged buildings.
Meanwhile, Dahal said he had given orders for warnings against looting to be printed and broadcast and told staff members to visit heritage sites and lock up artifacts in the museum for safekeeping.
He said that the authorities are making the removal of debris their priority and will recover the surviving statues. “After the evaluation, we will try to rebuild the buildings after the previous designs,” he said.
In the long term, it is expected that the whole world will offer assistance to the Himalayan country in rebuilding its cultural heritage.
Irina Bokova, UNESCO director-general, expressed her condolences to Nepal following the powerful earthquake, saying the organization stands ready to help Nepal reconstruct and strengthen its resilience.
“UNESCO is currently preparing to field an international expert mission to undertake an in-depth damage assessment and, based thereon to advise and provide support to the Nepalese authorities and local communities on its protection and conservation with a view to recovery,” Bokova said.
At the same time, Germany’s Ambassador to Nepal Matthias Mayer said his country would help reconstruct Nepal’s cultural heritages, especially in the ancient temple town of Bhaktapur. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.