chapter  5
Earthquake and diasporic travel to homeland
ByKalyan Bhandari
Pages 20

On the 25th of April 2015, Nepal was struck by an earthquake of a magnitude of 7.8 that killed more than 8,800 people and injured another 23,000. It displaced hundreds of thousands of people and made them homeless, and many villages were flattened in the affected regions (National Planning Commission, 2015). The earthquake was a huge blow to the country that was recovering from a decade-long civil war and political turmoil. Tourism was the worst-hit sector, as the earthquake occurred during the first of the two major tourism seasons of the year. According to the Post Disaster Needs Assessment report prepared by the Government of Nepal, nine out of ten planned foreign arrivals cancelled in the aftermath of the quake. Seven out of 10 World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley were directly affected, including some popular trekking routes. In terms of heritage, the earthquake affected about 2,900 structures with a cultural, historical, and religious heritage value. Major monuments in Kathmandu’s World Heritage Monument Zones were severely damaged, and many were completely destroyed. In addition, in more than 20 districts, thousands of private residences built on traditional lines, historic public buildings and ancient and recently built temples and monasteries were destroyed by the disaster. The Post Disaster Needs Assessment prepared by the Government of Nepal suggested the total estimated damage to tangible heritage was around US$ 169 million.