Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-461
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Brief communication
22 Jan 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).
Brief communication: Roads and landslides in Nepal: How development affects risk
Brian G. McAdoo1, Michelle Quak1, Kausha Gnyawali2, Basanta Adhikari2, Sanjay Devkota2, Purna Rajbhandari3, and Karen Sudmeier4 1Yale-NUS College, Singapore, 138527
2Department of Civil Engineering, Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, 44818, Nepal
3Independent, Kathmandu, Nepal
4University of Lausanne, Faculty of Geosciences and Environment, Institute of Earth Science, Lausanne, 1015, Switzerland
Abstract. The number of deaths from landslides in Nepal has been increasing dramatically due to a complex combination of earthquakes, climate change, and an explosion of road construction. We compare the distribution of landslides in Sindhupalchok district before the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake with those generated by the earthquake to demonstrate that landslides are more than twice as likely to occur near a road than a random distribution. Based on this finding, geoscientists, planners and policymakers must consider how development needs overlap with physical (and ecological), socio-political and economic factors to generate risk in exposed communities.

Citation: McAdoo, B. G., Quak, M., Gnyawali, K., Adhikari, B., Devkota, S., Rajbhandari, P., and Sudmeier, K.: Brief communication: Roads and landslides in Nepal: How development affects risk, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-461, in review, 2018.
Brian G. McAdoo et al.
Brian G. McAdoo et al.
Brian G. McAdoo et al.

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Short summary
China's New Silk Road promises to bring development to Nepal, but not without hazardous consequences. Using GIS maps of monsoon-triggered landslides, we show that rural roads are responsible for doubling the number of landslides in one mountainous district. Engineers are seeking sustainable and affordable eco-solutions to help stabilise these roads in order to prevent further loss of life and property as Nepal approaches this next phase in its development.
China's New Silk Road promises to bring development to Nepal, but not without hazardous...
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