Wrath Of Nature

Earthquake rocks Nepal

Nepal ,One Of The Most Active Seismic Zones In The World

A major earthquake hit near Kathmandu in Nepal just before noon on Saturday 25 April, 2015 local time. Between high population densities, intense prolonged shaking, unstable slopes, and inadequate buildings, this has the makings of a very nasty disaster.It occurred with a magnitude of 7.8Mw. Its epicenter was east of the district of Lamjung, and its hypocenter was at a depth of approximately 15 km (9.3 mi).

Some of the greatest tectonic upheavals in our planet's history have taken place along this zone. In a process called plate tectonics, the continent of Africa is moving towards Europe and India has collided with the underbelly of Asia.

The Indian subcontinent has continued to move northwards, at the rate of couple of inches a year. The movement causes immense stress which are released in periodic shudders - such as the one that occurred on April 25, 2015.And the aftershocks were felt across the region, from New Delhi to the south of Mount Everest itself where avalanche and landslides resulted.

This will not be the last to strike this impoverished nation, nor will it be the last.

Impact of the Earthquake

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake is devastating enough, but with the hypo center a mere 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) below the surface, that shaking is brutally intense in a localized area. Along with damage from intense, local shaking, this earthquake has likely triggered countless landslides and destabilized even more slopes, increasing the risk of more landslides during the upcoming monsoon season. This 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.

Disaster Response In The Aftermath

About 90 percent of soldiers from the Nepalese were sent to the stricken areas in the aftermath of the earthquake under Operation Sankat Mochan, with volunteers mobilized from other parts of the country. Rainfall and aftershocks were factors complicating the rescue efforts, with potential secondary effects like additional landslides and further building collapses being concerns. Impassable roads and damaged communications infrastructure posed substantial challenges to rescue efforts. Survivors were found up to a week after the earthquake.

International aid into Nepal has been rapid, with Search and Rescue teams from India, Pakistan, China, and Israel already landed. Eight medical teams from the United States were already in-country before the disaster, while search and rescue support from Fairfax, Virginia is incoming. Additional teams from the United Kingdom, Japan, and Finland are expected to arrive on Monday.

Measures to be taken in earthquakes of large magnitudes

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.

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, and 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 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.