KATHMANDU: Aftershocks of the April 25, 2015 Gorkha earthquake still continues to shock the denizens, with two jolts on Wednesday.
Aftershocks measuring 5.2 and 4.3 in Richter scales were experienced on early Wednesday, just a day before the Nepalis were marking the 4th anniversary of the shocking quake.
According to seismologist Mukunda Bhattarai at the National Seismological Centre (NSC), under the Department of Mines and Geology, the epicentre of both aftershocks was in Naubishe of Dhading district.
The first aftershock was experienced at 6:29 a.m. and the second at 6:40 a.m. today.
These aftershocks were the third and fourth aftershocks recorded in the second week of the first month of Nepali calendar (Baisakh, 2076).
The first and second series of aftershocks were felt in Bajhang and Gorakha on April 15 and 16 respectively.
“Altogether 520 aftershocks measuring 4.0 and above in the Richter scale were felt since the Gorkha earthquake in the country,” according to Bhattarai. Similarly, over 46,000 earthquakes and aftershocks below 4 magnitudes were recorded since the Gorkha quake.
According to Bhattarai, the Centre at present has 21 seismological measuring stations. Among them, 12 were set up in Kathmandu-based office and nine in Surkhet.
Another seismologist, Chintan Timsina, said that not only Nepal, the Himalaya range expanding from Afghanistan to Myanmar, are always in the risk of earthquake at any time as these countries lie in between the Indian and Eurasian plates’ conversion zone.
Different geological and seismological studies in the Himalaya ranges showed that it takes up six to seven hundred years to have mega scale of another earthquake measuring over 8 in the Richter scale at the same place or zone.
“Our researches also show that if an earthquake measuring below 8 and 7 in the Richter scale occurs, there is a chance of its reoccurrence only in 170-80 years after the deposition of its energy and the same thing had happened in the case of Gorkha earthquake,” Timsina said. But the epicentres may vary, he said.
Timsina also said that there was a chance of yet another earthquake in the southern and western part of the Kathmandu Valley ranging above 6 and 7 in Richter scale at any time.
When asked about relation or pre symptom between the earthquake and change in normal weather, Timsina ruled out such relations, but it is a matter of study and research part, he said.
According to statistics of the NSC, 46,626 earthquakes below 4 in the Richter scale were measured so far. 1,047 small earthquakes of 4-5 magnitude, 135 earthquakes of magnitude between 5-6, six earthquakes of magnitude 6-6.5, three earthquakes of magnitude 6.5-7 and one earthquake magnitude of over 7 plus, were recorded after the Gorkha earthquake. The data have some records of Tibet and Indian sides, said Timsina.
(Where plates collide: The main frontal thrust (red line) extends over the entire length of the Himalayas. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory)
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