Friday 9 December 2016

Tremor equivalent to 20 thermonuclear bombs

Published 27/04/2015 | 02:30

A woman rushes for safety during a strong aftershock
A woman rushes for safety during a strong aftershock

The worst earthquake to hit Nepal in 80 years was equivalent to 20 thermonuclear bombs, according to one expert.

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The 7.8-magnitude quake was even more devastating because the epicentre was only 60km to the north-west of the most highly populated part of Nepal, the capital city of Kathmandu.

Further compounding the impact was the shallowness of the earthquake, at just 10km to 15km below ground, meaning that the shaking was felt much more strongly. Deeper quakes have more earth to absorb the shaking.

Nepal is particularly susceptible to earthquakes because of its position at the junction of the two giant tectonic plates that push Everest and the rest of the Himalayan mountain range a few millimetres higher every year.

Experts say the colossal damage could have been even worse because the area is located on solid bedrock, which limits the effect of the shaking.

Irish Independent

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