Datadelve

Mapping Nepal's 58 tremors

A view of wrecked buildings at Durbar Square, a UNESCO world heritage site in Kathmandu, that was badly damaged by the earthquake. AFP photo.  

The Nepal region experienced at least 58 tremors from the time the biggest and most destructive one hit the region at 11.41 am (local time) on April 25, till April 29, reveals data from the US Geological Survey.

Since April 25 many aftershocks were recorded in the region on all days till April 28, except for the last couple of days which have relatively calmer.

Major damage was caused by three tremors having a magnitude above 6, of which the most devastating one measuring 7.8. In addition there were two other quakes - one measuring 6.7 was recorded on April 26 and another of magnitude 6.6 was experienced within a hour of the biggest quake on April 25. Quakes above 6 are strong and cause damage even to well-constructed buildings, maybe except those that are built quake-resistant, while those above 7 can be very devastating, causing extensive destruction.

Fourteen of these aftershocks had a magnitude between 5 and 6, which could have caused damage to poorly constructed buildings.

Earthquake magnitude:  Below 4.9 5 - 5.9 6 - 6.9 Above 7

Map: T.R           Data: US Geological Survey



And the region experienced as many as 41 tremors measuring between 3.9 and 4.9 from April 25 to 29, which added to the confusion and uncertainty following the quake. Quakes in this range are classified as light, but they proved extremely unsettling coming repeatedly as they did after the major quake. Such quakes are noticeable, especially indoors, but cause only minmal damage to buildings.

Cumulatively the scale of the destruction has been such that the Government of Nepal and UN agencies have assessed that 39 out of 75 districts are affected and that 70,000 houses have been destroyed and 5,30,000 damaged. And the death toll has been mounting day by day.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 1:00:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/blogs/blog-datadelve/article7154757.ece

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