Published on : Wednesday, May 13, 2015
The uncanny feeling of being hit by another earthquake is haunting every mind in Nepal and its neighbouring countries. People are feeling tremors at almost any part of the day. Indeed fear and uncertainty dwells in every mind as another major quake struck Nepal causing devastation to the already unsettled city, towns and villages of the country.
The 7.2 magnitude quake that hit Nepal yesterday took lives of at least 48 people and leaving more than thousands injured In Nepal. At least 7 have died in India.
The latest quake hit near the town of Namche Bazaar triggering panic as residents gathered in the streets of Katmandu to witness shaking buildings, as some that were partially damaged by the previous quake fell right in front of their eyes — a tragic moment indeed for Nepal.
The 7.8 magnitude quake on the 25th April had already reduced the country to rubbles but the latest quake that struck Nepal at 12:35 Nepali time (06:50 GMT) was centered about 76km (47 miles) east of Kathmandu, in a rural area close to the Chinese border embedded greater fear and drove people towards dark uncertainties.
The tremors were felt by most of northern India, Tibet, and Bangladesh. One person was reported dead in Tibet while 16 were confirmed dead from India till now.
The area worst affected was Charikot, 80km north-east of the capital 20 people are said to have died there. The US military said a Marine Corps helicopter involved in disaster relief efforts had gone missing while working in the vicinity of Charikot. Eight people were on board.
According to Nepal’s official sources 31 out of 75 districts were affected on the April 25 quake. The Nepalese Prime Minister, Sushil Koirala has asked for further assistance from rescue organisations already stationed in Nepal. He also urged people to maintain calm and be courageous. It is an overwhelming situation and one cannot expect people to show patience but panic will not help the situation to improve and will only add to the chaos he felt.
There have been a number of landslides in the Chautara district and many have died as buildings tumbled down.
A school building collapsed and fell in pieces but luckily it was lunch time and all children were out of the building.
The Tuesday quake is likely to be one of the largest that Nepal has suffered after the hundreds of aftershocks that struck since April 25. Tuesday quake has also triggered 16 aftershocks according to some new agencies. One tremor hit 30 minutes later; centered around the district of Ramechhap east of Kathmandu had 6.3 magnitude.
According to some preliminary analysis by some scientists there was a fault boundary rapture eastward for 150 km(93 miles). The Tuesday tremor has occurred right at the eastern edge of this failure according to immediate assessment. The second earthquake occurred due to stress change by the first one. The US Geological Survey (USGS) had already forecasted an aftershock in the area.
There are suggestions of a 1-in-200 chance of a M7-7.8 event occurring this week. So, not highly probable, but certainly possible this hypothesis is based on “seismic gaps”, which refer to segment gaps of faults that are to some extent overdue a quake.