The Himalayan region is amongst the most
seismically active zone in the world. Here many
severe earthquakes have taken place in the past.
One such terrible earthquake was the Nepal
Earthquake of 2015. This earthquake was
so worst that it drastically changed the lives
of many people of the region.
About the Earthquake
The Gorkha or the Nepal earthquake struck near Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, on April 25, 2015. The earthquake was so severe that it was felt throughout the eastern and central parts of Nepal, in the southern parts of the Plateau of Tibet, northwestern Bangladesh, western regions of Bhutan and in most part of the Ganges River plain in northern India. The epicentre of the earthquake was around 34 km (21 miles) east-southeast of Lamjung and 77 km (48 miles) northwest of Kathmandu. Its focus was nearly 15 km (9.3 miles) underground. The earthquake struck around 06:11 AM Greenwich Mean Time and measured 7.8 on the Ritcher scale. Two other intense aftershocks, with magnitudes 6.6 and 6.7, shook the country within one hour of the main quake. Several dozen smaller aftershocks were also felt in the region during the following few days.
Cause of the Nepal Earthquake of 2015
Thrust faulting in the Indus-Yarlung suture zone, a thin east-west region spanning about the length of the Himalayan ranges was believed to be cause of the earthquake. The earthquake released compressional pressure between the Indian section of the Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian tectonic plate, which subducted the Eurasian Plate. Subduction in the Himalayas takes place at an average rate of 4-5 cm (1.6-2 inches) annually. Every year such tectonic movements add more than 1 cm (0.4 inch) to the height of the Himalayas.
Aftermath of the earthquake
The earthquake resulted in landslides that destroyed most of the rural villages and some of the densely populated areas of Kathmandu. It also generated an avalanche on Mount Everest that cost the lives of 19 climbers and stranded other hundreds at camps higher up the mountain and at the Everest Base Camp. According to the seismologists the earthquake shifted the entire Kathmandu city 10 feet southward. This is assumed to be the largest observable geological result of an earthquake. Again on May 12 an aftershock of magnitude of 7.3 occurred around 76 km (47 miles) east-northeast of Kathmandu, thereby injuring about 1,900 people and killing more than 100.
The estimates of the initial damage ranged from $5 billion to $10 billion. Initial death toll count after the Nepal Earthquake of 2015 in the morning was in hundreds. However the number of the death toll kept on increasing with every passing hour. Towards the end of the day the total number of fatalities was around 1,900.
Within two weeks of the earthquake the total count of the death toll of all the areas struck by the quake (which included fatalities in nearby parts of India, China, and Bangladesh) was confirmed to be more than 8,300 people. Around 18,000 people were injured and approximately 2.8 million were displaced as a result of the earthquake.
Response of the other nations
The Nepalese government declared a state of emergency immediately after the earthquake and requested the international community for aid. The UN quickly responded to the situation by initiating the "Nepal Earthquake 2015 Flash Appeal" fund, to raise $415 million as Nepal's earthquake relief. More than $330 million had been either pledged or provided directly after two weeks of the earthquake. India, China and many other countries sent in aid and rescue teams to the earthquake stricken areas of Nepal. These rescue team along with the Nepalese army worked tiredlessly in some of the hostile situations to save as many lives as they could. At the end it was humanity which prevailed against the odd forces of nature.
Even though the Nepal Earthquake 2015 tarnished everything in Nepal, it couldn't destroy the courage of the Nepalese people. Even in the midst of this terrible natural calamity, the people of Nepal have demonstrated amazing courage in overcoming their pain and emotional wounds and moved on with their lives to start everything afresh. This is why the whole world salutes the undying spirit of the Nepalese and wishes them good luck in their future!