2015 Nepal Earthquake Data

The earthquake with the magnitude of 7.8 on 25 April 2015 led Nepali people to devastation. After 7.8 magnitude earthquake, hundreds of aftershock followed along with 7.2 magnitude (12 May) strong aftershock. This took life of more than eight thousand people and more than 16 thousands injured. There is no exact data how many people became homeless and had to live in the shelter.

Different sources have different data on the number of death due to earthquake. Recent data of Ministry of Home Affair’s (MOHA) is 8,856 deaths and 22,309 injured[1]. UNICEF earthquake report shows 8,631 (May 2015) and UN OCHA report shows 8,659 (4,771 female and 3,887 male) (June 2015) deaths.

I got MOHA’s list individuals who died in the earthquake (till 20 May, 201) and it contains name and details of 8,205 people. From that list, I have disaggregated the data in caste/ethnicity and gender. The result is shown in the table and figure below.

Earthquake hit everyone equally without looking any caste or ethnicity. It is obvious that those who live in the area of epicenter had lost more lives. Due to social causes like weak infrastructure, poverty, medical care, earthquake response, exclusion and discrimination, more people have lost their life. Table 1 shows the number of deaths by caste/ethnic group and sex.

Table 1: Death by Caste/Ethnic Group and sex

s.n. Caste/Ethnic group Female Male Total Percent
1 Tamang 1479 1400 2879 35.1
2 Bahun/Chhetri 1053 795 1848 22.5
3 Newar 726 462 1188 14.5
4 Gurung 283 230 513 6.3
5 Dalit 246 209 455 5.5
6 Magar 131 125 256 3.1
7 Sanyashi/Dasnami 102 67 169 2.1
8 Majhi 84 65 149 1.8
9 Sherpa 58 71 129 1.6
10 Madheshi 47 48 95 1.2
11 Rai 29 43 72 0.9
12 Danuwar 33 27 60 0.7
13 Thakuri 31 28 59 0.7
14 Unknown 23 33 56 0.7
15 Bhujel 33 18 51 0.6
16 Thami 27 23 50 0.6
17 Foreigner 15 23 38 0.5
18 Pahari 16 14 30 0.4
19 Tharu 8 13 21 0.3
20 Muslim 8 11 19 0.2
21 Sunuwar 11 3 14 0.2
22 Limbu 8 5 13 0.2
23 Baram 5 7 12 0.1
24 Chepang 3 5 8 0.1
25 Kumal 5 2 7 0.1
26 Hyalmo 2 2 4 0.0
27 Dhimal 2 1 3 0.0
28 Thakali 1 2 3 0.0
29 Darai 1 1 0.0
30 Hayu 1 1 0.0
31 Jirel 1 1 0.0
32 Rajbanshi 1 1 0.0
Total 4473 3732 8205 100.0

Table 1 shows the number of death of different caste and ethnic groups in chronological order. Tamang community has highest number of lives (2,879) followed by Chhetri/Bahun and Newar (1,848 and 1,188). Chhetri and Bahun (and/or Brahman) are put together in the data because many of their surnames are similar and it is hard to disaggregate data on the basis of surname. That is why their number is high. Those peoples who were not identified were counted as unknown. There are 56 unknown. Beside national, foreigners (38 persons) have also lost their life in this earthquake.

Figure 1: Percentage of death of different caste and ethnic groups

figure1

Caste and ethnic groups are categorized into seven sub-categories. Among them indigenous peoples had highest number of death (5466 i.e. 66.6 percent of the total death). People from endangered and highly marginalized indigenous communities such as Chepang, Jirel and Hayu have also lost their life in this earthquake. Hill high castes (according to Verna system) had lost 25.3 percent i.e. 2076. Dalits (lowest caste in the Verna system) had lost 455 lives which constitutes 5.5 percent. Madheshi (people from Terai) had lost 95 lives (1.2 percent). Foreigner and unknown were less than 0 percent (shown in Figure 1).

Data in Table 1 showed that number of female death is higher than that of male i.e. 54.5 and 45.5 percent respectively. When this data is disaggregated into caste and ethnic group. We could see another picture (figure 2).

Figure 2: Percentage of female and male death of different caste and ethnic groups

figure-2

 It was Tamang women and girls who lost the most lives. They constitute 18 percent of the total death followed by Tamang men (17 percent). Chhetri/Bahun women together lost almost 13 percent followed by Chhetri/Bahun men (9.7 percent). Newar women lost almost 9 percent of lives. Newar men on the other hand lost 5.6 percent of the lives. The difference between male and female death among Chhetri/Bahun and Newar communities are somewhat similar. The gap is not that big in Tamang and other communities. The percentage of death among Gurung and Dalits are between 3 to 4 percent and the difference between male and female is less than 0.6 percent.

Whole nation felt the terror of earthquake. Many of them have lost their homes, property and above all they lost their family and loved ones. According to the provided by MOHA, 31 districts had seen the loss of lives. Earthquake severely affected fourteen districts and making some damage in other districts. The data of the casualties from affected districts is given in Table 2.

Table 2: Number and percent of death by district

S.N. District Female Male Total Percent
1 Sindhupalchowk 1891 1478 3369 41.1
2 Kathmandu 586 606 1192 14.5
3 Nuwakot 393 339 732 8.9
4 Dhadhing 385 341 726 8.8
5 Rasuwa 310 256 566 6.9
6 Gorkha 232 208 440 5.4
7 Bhaktpur 212 121 333 4.1
8 Kavre 173 145 318 3.9
9 Lalitpur 112 74 186 2.3
10 Dolokha 81 81 162 2.0
11 Ramechhap 25 15 40 0.5
12 Makwanpur 19 15 34 0.4
13 Okhaldhunga 9 10 19 0.2
14 Solukhumbu 6 13 19 0.2
15 Sindhuli 9 5 14 0.2
16 Sunsari 6 3 9 0.1
17 Chitwan 1 6 7 0.1
18 Parsa 5 2 7 0.1
19 Bara 5 5 0.1
20 Lamjung 2 3 5 0.1
21 Mahotari 1 2 3 0.0
22 Rautahat 2 1 3 0.0
23 Bhojpur 2 2 0.0
24 Kaski 1 1 2 0.0
25 Morang 1 1 2 0.0
26 Sarlahi 1 1 2 0.0
27 Gulmi 1 1 0.0
28 Nawalparasi 1 1 0.0
29 Palpa 1 1 0.0
30 Rolpa 1 1 0.0
31 Rukum 1 1 0.0
32 Taplejung 1 1 0.0
33 Terathum 1 1 0.0
34 Udayapur 1 1 0.0
  Total 4475 3730 8205 100

People living in Sindhupalchowk lost the most lives (41.1 percent) followed by Kathmandu (14.5), Nuwakot (8.9 percent), Dhading (8.8 percent), Rasuwa (6.9 percent) and so on. These districts lost more than 500 lives. 14 districts have lost less than 0.0 percent i.e. one to three persons.

I hope this data will help people to understand the demography of the casualties and also to people who want to work in the earthquake response.

Note: I would like to thank Dr. Mukta Singh Tamang for providing the death toll of MOHA, Yonjan Bhai and Neem Darlami for helping me in data entry in excel and LAHURNIP for facilitating the study.

[1] drrportal.gov.np/ndrrip/main.htm?id=0 viewed on 2016.3.21

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