NEPAL EARTHQUAKE

"I Want to help the EARTH to HEAL and GROW STRONG ."

Nepal Eathquake

The April 2015 Nepal earthquake also known as the Gorkha earthquake killed more than 8,800 people and injured more than 23,000. It occurred at 11:56 NST on 25 April, with a magnitude of 7.8Mw or 8.1Msand a maximum Mercalli Intensity of IX (Violent). Its epicenter was east of the district of Lamjung, and its hypocenter was at a depth of approximately 15 km (9.3 mi). It was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake.

Continued aftershocks occurred throughout Nepal within 15–20 minute intervals, with one shock reaching a magnitude of 6.7 on 26 April at 12:54:08 NST. The country also had a continued risk of landslides.

A major aftershock occurred on 12 May 2015 at 12:51 NST with a moment magnitude (Mw) of 7.3. The epicenter was near the Chinese border between the capital of Kathmandu and Mt. Everest. More than 200 people were killed and more than 2,500 were injured by this aftershock.

Geology

Nepal lies towards the southern limit of the diffuse collisional boundary where the Indian Plate underthrusts the Eurasian Plate. Geologically, the Nepal Himalayas are sub-divided into five tectonic zones from north to south, east to west and almost parallel to sub-parallel.These five distinct morpho-geotectonic zones are: (1) Terai Plain, (2) Sub Himalaya (Sivalik Range), (3) Lesser Himalaya (Mahabharat Range and mid valleys), (4) Higher Himalaya, and (5) Inner Himalaya (Tibetan Tethys).Each of these zones is clearly identified by their morphological, geological, and tectonic features.

The convergence rate between the plates in central Nepal is about 45 mm (1.8 in) per year. The location, magnitude, and focal mechanism of the earthquake suggest that it was caused by a slip along the Main Frontal Thrust.

The earthquake's effects were amplified in Kathmandu as it sits on the Kathmandu Basin, which contains up to 600 m (2,000 ft) ofsedimentary rocks, representing the infilling of a lake.

Intensity

According to "Did You Feel It?" (DYFI?) responses on the USGS website, the intensity in Kathmandu was IX (Violent).Tremors were felt in the neighboring Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Sikkim, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Gujarat in the Indian capital region around New Delhi and as far south as Karnataka.Many buildings were brought down in Bihar. Minor cracks in the walls of houses were reported in Odisha. Minor quakes were registered as far as Kochi in the southern state of Kerala. The intensity in Patna was V (Moderate).The intensity was IV (Light) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.The earthquake was also experienced across southwestern China, ranging from the Tibet Autonomous Region to Chengdu, which is 1,900 km (1,200 mi) away from the epicenter.Tremors were felt in Pakistan and Bhutan.

After shocks

A major aftershock of magnitude 6.7 Mw occurred on 26 April 2015 in the same region at 12:55 NST (07:09 UTC), with an epicenter located about 17 km (11 mi) south of Kodari, Nepal. The aftershock caused fresh avalanches on Mount Everest and was felt in many places in northern India including Kolkata, Siliguri, Jalpaiguri and Assam. The aftershock caused a landslide on the Koshi Highway which blocked the section of the road between Bhedetar and Mulghat.

12th May Earthquake

12 May 2015 earthquake

A second major earthquake occurred on 12 May 2015 at 12:51 NST with a moment magnitude (Mw) of 7.3Mw 18 km (11 mi) southeast of Kodari. The epicenter was near theChinese border between the capital of Kathmandu and Mt. Everest. It struck at the depth of 18.5 km (11.5 miles). This earthquake occurred along the same fault as the original magnitude 7.8 earthquake of 25 April but further to the east. As such, it is considered to be an aftershock of the 25 April quake. Tremors were also felt in northern parts of India including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and other North-Indian States.

At least 117 died in Nepal as a result of the aftershock and about 2,500 were injured. Seventeen others died in India and one in China.

Reasons in terms of Plate Movements

The reason is the regular movement of the fault line that runs along Nepal’s southern border, where the Indian subcontinent collided with the Eurasia plate 40 million to 50 million years ago.“The collision between India and Eurasia is a showcase for geology,” said Lung S. Chan, a geophysicist at the University of Hong Kong. The so-called India plate is pushing its way north toward Asia at a rate of about 5 centimeters, or 2 inches, a year, he said. “Geologically speaking, that’s very fast.”

Plates are always slowly moving, but they get stuck at their edges due to friction. When the stress on the edge overcomes the friction, there is an earthquake that releases energy in waves that travel through the Earth's crust and cause the shaking that we feel.

Saturday’s quake was also relatively shallow, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Such quakes tend to cause more damage and more aftershocks than those that occur deeper below the earth’s surface.

After an earthquake, the plates resume moving and the clock resets. “Earthquakes dissipate energy, like lifting the lid off a pot of boiling water,” said Dr. Chan. “But it builds back up after you put the lid back on.”

Nepal is prone to destructive earthquakes, not only because of the massive forces involved in the tectonic collision, but also because of the type of fault line the country sits on. Normal faults create space when the ground cracks and separates. Nepal lies on a so-called thrust fault, where one tectonic plate forces itself on top of another.

The most visible result of this is the Himalayan mountain range. The fault runs along the 1,400-mile range, and the constant collision of the India and Eurasia plates pushes up the height of the peaks by about a centimeter each year.

Big image

What to expect during an earthquake

Small or moderate earthquakes

  • These can last only a few seconds and represent no emergency risk.
  • Ceiling lights may move and some minor rattling of objects may occur in your home.
  • You may feel a slight quiver under your feet if you are outside.
  • If you are close to its source, you may hear a loud bang followed by shaking.

Large earthquakes

  • These can last up to several minutes and constitute a natural disaster if its epicentre is near a densely populated area, or its magnitude sufficiently large for the region.
  • The ground or floor will move, perhaps violently.
  • Whether far away or close to the source, you will probably feel shaking followed by a rolling motion, much like being at sea.
  • If you are far away from the source, you might see swaying buildings or hear a roaring sound.
  • You may feel dizzy and be unable to walk during the earthquake.
  • If you live in a high rise or a multi-storey building, you may experience more sway and less shaking than in a smaller, single-storey building. Lower floors will shake rapidly, much like residential homes. On upper floors, movement will be slower but the building will move farther from side to side.
  • Furnishings and unsecured objects could fall over or slide across the floor or be thrown with damaging force across the room.
  • Unsecured light fixtures and ceiling panels may fall.
  • Windows may break.
  • Fire alarms and sprinkler systems may be activated.
  • Lights and power may go off.

Know the Risks and Get Prepared

Before an Earthquake

Go through your home, imagining what could happen to each part of it, if shaken by a violent earthquake. Check off the items that you have completed in this list.

  • Teach everybody in the family (if they are old enough) how to turn off the water and electricity.
  • Clearly label the on-off positions for the water, electricity and gas.
  • Repair loose roof shingles.
  • Secure water heaters to wall studs or masonry using a bracing kit, to reduce the possibility of the heater falling and rupturing gas and water connections.
  • Secure major appliances to walls, such as refrigerators.
  • Secure costly and heavy electronics.
  • Secure the tops of top-heavy furniture to a wall by anchoring to studs and using flexible fasteners. Keep heavy items on lower shelves.
  • Secure expensive or fragile items that if damaged would be a significant loss.
  • Affix mirrors, paintings and other hanging objects securely, so they won't fall off hooks.
  • Locate beds and chairs away from chimneys and windows. Don't hang heavy pictures and other items over beds. Closed curtains and blinds will help stop broken window glass from falling on beds.
  • Put anti-skid pads under TVs, computers and other small appliances, or secure them with Velcro or other such product.
  • Use child-proof or safety latches on cupboards to stop contents from spilling out.
  • Keep flammable items and household chemicals away from heat and where they are less likely to spill.
  • Secure items in the garage to reduce hazardous material spills and damage to vehicles.
  • Consult a professional for additional ways to protect your home, such as bolting the house to its foundation and other structural mitigation techniques.
  • If you live in an apartment block or a multi-storey building, work with your building manager or condominium board to decide how best to “quake-safe” your unit. Seek advice from professionals (building engineers, emergency preparedness authorities) if you are unsure about what to do.
  • If you live in a mobile home, you can leave the wheels on the mobile home to limit its fall. Or, you can install a structural bracing system to reduce the chance of your unit falling off its supports. Ensure the awning on your home is securely supported and fastened to the unit. For information on the best way to brace your unit, contact your local mobile home dealer or a mobile home owner's association.
  • Review your Emergency Plan with your family (see Step 2 for more information).
  • Have an emergency kit that will sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours (see Step 3 for more information).
  • Discuss earthquake insurance with your insurance broker. Check your coverage – it could affect your financial ability to recover losses after an earthquake.

During an earthquake

Wherever you are when an earthquake starts, take cover immediately. Move a few steps to a nearby safe place if need be. Stay there until the shaking stops.

If you are indoors: “DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON”

  • Stay inside.
  • Drop under heavy furniture such as a table, desk, bed or any solid furniture.
  • Cover your head and torso to prevent being hit by falling objects.
  • Hold on to the object that you are under so that you remain covered. Be prepared to move with the object until the shaking has finished.
  • If you can't get under something strong, or if you are in a hallway, flatten yourself or crouch against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms.
  • If you are in a shopping mall, go into the nearest store. Stay away from windows, and shelves with heavy objects.
  • If you are at school, get under a desk or table and hold on. Face away from windows.
  • If you are in a wheelchair, lock the wheels and protect the back of your head and neck.

If you are outdoors

  • Stay outside.
  • Go to an open area away from buildings. The most dangerous place is near exterior walls.
  • If you are in a crowded public place, take cover where you won't be trampled.

If you are in a vehicle

  • Pull over to a safe place where you are not blocking the road. Keep roads clear for rescue and emergency vehicles.
  • Avoid bridges, overpasses, underpasses, buildings or anything that could collapse.
  • Stop the car and stay inside.
  • Listen to your car radio for instructions from emergency officials.
  • Do not attempt to get out of your car if downed power lines are across it. Wait to be rescued.
  • Place a HELP sign in your window if you need assistance.
  • If you are on a bus, stay in your seat until the bus stops. Take cover in a protected place. If you can't take cover, sit in a crouched position and protect your head from falling debris.

AVOID the following in an earthquake

  • Doorways. Doors may slam shut and cause injuries.
  • Windows, bookcases, tall furniture and light fixtures. You could be hurt by shattered glass or heavy objects.
  • Elevators. If you are in an elevator during an earthquake, hit the button for every floor and get out as soon as you can.
  • Downed power lines – stay at least 10 metres away to avoid injury.
  • Coastline. Earthquakes can trigger large ocean waves called tsunamis. If you are near a coastline in a high risk area during a strong earthquake, immediately move inland or to higher ground and remain there until officials declare the area safe.

After an earthquake

  • Stay calm. Help others if you are able.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Listen to the radio or television for information from authorities. Follow their instructions.
  • Place corded telephone receivers back in their cradles; only make calls if requiring emergency services.
  • Put on sturdy shoes and protective clothing to help prevent injury from debris, especially broken glass.
  • Check your home for structural damage and other hazards. If you suspect your home is unsafe, do not re-enter.
  • Unplug appliances and broken lights to prevent fire starts when the power is restored.
  • Stay away from brick walls and chimneys as they may be damaged or weakened and could collapse during aftershocks. Do not use your fireplace if your chimney has been damaged as a fire may start or gases could be released.
  • If you have to leave your home, take your emergency kit and other essential items with you. Post a message in clear view, indicating where you can be found. Do not waste food or water as supplies may be interrupted.
  • Do not light matches or turn on light switches until you are sure there are no gas leaks or flammable liquids spilled. Use a flashlight to check utilities and do not shut them off unless damaged. Leaking gas will smell like rotten eggs.
  • If your home is equipped with natural gas: Call your gas provider immediately to report any concerns or if you smell gas (rotten egg smell). Shut off gas valve if you know how. Once the gas is turned off, don't turn it back on. Only a licensed gas technician can turn the gas on safely.
  • If tap water is still available immediately after the earthquake, fill a bathtub and other containers in case the supply gets cut off. If there is no running water, there may be water in the hot water tank (make sure water is not hot before touching it) and toilet reservoir (not the bowl).
  • Do not flush toilets if you suspect sewer lines are broken.
  • Use extreme caution with hazardous materials or spills. When in doubt, leave your home.
  • Check on your neighbours after looking after members of your own household. Organize rescue measures if people are trapped or call for emergency assistance if you cannot safely help them.
  • If you have pets, try to find and comfort them. If you have to evacuate, take them to a pre-identified pet-friendly shelter.
  • Place a HELP sign in your window if you need assistance.

Rescue Team

Governments across the globe have deployed emergency assistance following Nepal's deadliest earthquake in nearly a century. But response teams face increasing difficulties as the death toll continues to rise.

Aid groups and governments intensified efforts to help Nepal on Sunday after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the capital Kathmandu and surrounding areas the day before.

European, Asian and North American governments sent emergency response teams to Nepal as the country struggles to cope with the disaster. However, blocked roads, collapsed buildings, and continuing aftershocks pose major setbacks for emergency crews searching for survivors in the capital and cut-off rural areas.

"Communication is down in many areas. Widespread destruction, rubble and landslides are preventing access to provide aid in many villages," the Australian Red Cross said in a statement.

"Tragically, more bodies are being pulled from collapsed buildings every hour," the statement added.

Oxfam reportedly told the AFP that morgues were reaching capacity, adding that the situation could take a turn for the worse as medical supplies dwindle.

"Communication systems are congested and hospitals are crowded and are running out of room for storing dead bodies," Oxfam's Australia chief executive Helen Szoke told AFP.

Global response intensifies

The official death toll from Saturday's earthquake rose to 2,352 people, Nepal's Interior Ministry confirmed on Sunday, while Prime Minister Sushil Koirala called for strong international support. Koirala's cry for help was met with strong support.

A team of 45 rescue experts from Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg left on a Belgian military plane on Sunday, bound for Nepal.

Japan's emergency services team, comprised of 70 experts, were also dispatched on Sunday. Sri Lanka sent a military C-130 aircraft carrying a 48-member medical and relief team with essential supplies. A second plane was also expected to carry more medical staff.

India, China, and Pakistan were the first to respond following news of the disaster. India deployed two military transport panes, while Pakistan sent two C-130 aircrafts carrying food and essential supplies, including a 30-bed hospital. A 62-member Chinese search and rescue team was also dispatched to Katmandu on Saturday.

The US committed $1 million (0.92 million euros) along with rescue teams, the US Agency for International Development confirmed. Australia and New Zealand pledged more than $4.5 million, while South Korea promised $1 million in humanitarian aid.

Numerous aid groups launched appeals for funds with the charity Christian Aid describing an "urgent need" for emergency shelters, food, clean drinking water, and warm clothing.