Last Updated: Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Another major earthquake predicted in Nepal within years


nepal-earthquake-prediction
A major tremor could hit Nepal’s Gorkha district within years rather than the centuries that usually pass between quakes, researchers say predicting Nepal earthquake.

The research entitled “Himalayan megathrust geometry and relation to topography revealed by the Gorkha earthquake” published in journal Nature Geoscience on 11 January 2016 claims that magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Gorkha in April 2015 generated about 1 m of uplift in the Kathmandu Basin, yet caused the high Himalaya farther north to subside by about 0.6 m.

Nepal underground faultline is still under tremendous strain underneath Kathmandu that warns of another major earthquake in the region.

"The unbroken upper part of the fault is continuously building up more pressure over time,” Lead author John Elliott of Oxford University claims. High-resolution satellite images revealed that "only a small amount of the earthquake reached the surface."

According to BBC, they examined images from Europe's Sentinel-1a radar satellite and other spacecraft to map the buckling of the ground.

"There is still half of the fault - that's going south of Kathmandu, from a depth of 11km up to the surface - that hasn't yet broken," Dr Elliott told BBC News.

"These earthquakes tend to happen on the century timescale, but this barrier could be pushed through on a shorter timescale. Of course, our problem is that we are not able to predict when; we can never give a date."

The earthquake claimed lives of at least 8,891 people as of December 31, 2015, Government of Nepal, Nepal Disaster Risk Reduction Portal mentioned. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of Nepal since the 1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake. 

Source: J. R. Elliott, R. Jolivet, P. J. González, J.-P. Avouac, J. Hollingsworth, M. P. Searle & V. L. Stevens (2016). Himalayan megathrust geometry and relation to topography revealed by the Gorkha earthquake.  doi:10.1038/ngeo2623. Retrieved from: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2623.html