When heights fell in Nepal
Nepal's nightmares come true as 7.8 Mw earthquake hits.
Nepal faces a monstrous disaster
Why the quake?
The earthquake's hypocenter was relatively shallow - just 10-15 km under the earth's surface, magnifying the strength of the earthquake.
Based on a study published in 2014, of the Main Frontal Thrust, on average a great earthquake occurs every 750 ± 140 and 870 ± 350 years in the east Nepal region. A study from 2015 found a 700-year delay between earthquakes in the region. This may have contributed to the immense magnitude of the earthquake. Studies have reported that this slip has released about a century of built-up strain.
The study also suggests that because of tectonic stress buildup, the earthquake from 1934 in Nepal and the 2015 quake are connected, following a historic earthquake pattern.
Casualties and Destruction
The April 2015 Nepal earthquake killed more than 8,800 people and injured more than 23,000.
The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least 19, making it the deadliest day on the mountain in history. It triggered another huge avalanche in the Langtang valley, where 250 people were reported missing.
Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless with entire villages flattened, across many districts of the country. Centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, including some at the Kathmandu Durbar Square, the Patan Durbar Squar, the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the Changu Narayan Temple and the Swayambhunath Stupa.
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.
What to do if the ground starts shaking?
If you are indoors during an earthquake
· DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
· Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
· Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
· Do not use a doorway except if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway and it is close to you. Many inside doorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection.
· Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. DO NOT exit a building during the shaking.
· DO NOT use the elevators.
· Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
If you are outdoors during an earthquake
· Stay there.
· Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
· Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls.
If you are in a moving vehicle during an earthquake
· Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
· Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.
If you are trapped under debris
· Do not light a match.
· Do not move around or kick up dust.
· Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
· Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.