IS NEPAL SAFE TO TRAVEL AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE?

posted by Tilak Thapa Magar on July 21, 2015

Nepal experienced great devastation during the earthquake and aftershocks that struck in April and May 2015, but the country is now recovering and it is safe to travel to most regions. In fact, visiting Nepal is one of the best ways to help the country and its economy to recover from the devastation caused by the earthquake.

Some people have been put off travelling to Nepal by the perceived risk of another earthquake, but now that the aftershocks have ended, the risk is actually very small. Nepal and the Himalaya are in an earthquake zone, but so are many other parts of the world. It is impossible to predict when any of these areas will experience an earthquake again, but the risk in Nepal is no greater now than it was before the most recent quake. Earthquakes of that magnitude are rare, so it is unlikely that Nepal will experience such a strong earthquake again in the near future. However, it is sensible to be aware of the risks whenever you are travelling into an earthquake prone area so that you know how to react if it happens. As always when travelling, you should check for travel advisories, take out appropriate insurance, and make sure you are prepared for any risks. Nepal is safe for travel and trekking, but it is always important to take the right precautions, not just against rare events such as earthquakes, but also the more common risks such as altitude sickness or the weather.

Another reason people have been avoiding travel to Nepal is that they are worried about the damage caused by the earthquake and whether they might be adding to the burden. In fact, most of the country was unaffected by the earthquake, so it is possible to travel in many areas without seeing any signs of damage. In some places, you may see some rebuilding going on, but you shouldn’t have any trouble travelling outside of the worst-affected regions of Lantang and Manaslu, which should be avoided. The airports and major roads are all operating as normal, and while there is still some damage on smaller roads and trails in the affected areas, the main trekking routes Everest Region, Annapurna Region, Kanchenjunga Region, Makalu Region, Dolpo Region and most heritage sites are open now. Nepal is ready for tourism and far from being a burden when you visit, you will actually be helping to support the recovery by contributing directly to the local economy.

Nepal and its people are recovering from the earthquake and even the worst affected regions are expected to be ready for the 2016 trekking season. Rebuilding work is still ongoing in some places, and some historic buildings and monuments have been lost forever, but the mountains, the culture, and the wildlife are all just as inspiring as ever.

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