Kathmandu Earthquake Moves Entire City

The 7.8 Kathmandu earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, has shifted the earth beneath Kathmandu by several meters, but did not affect Mount Everest. Nepal is located in the Himalayas and bordered by the People’s Republic of China, and the south, east and west by the Republic of India. The earthquake killed over 4,000 people and has become the nation’s deadliest disaster in more than 80 years.

According to seismological data obtained after the earthquake, the ground beneath Kathmandu shifted about 10 feet southward. Sandy Stacey, head of the physical science department at the University of Adelaide, commented that it is likely the Kathmandu earthquake happened on the Himalayan Thrust Fault, an area that separates the moving Indian sub-continent from Eurasia. The fault drops 10 degrees to the north-northeast. The movement on the fault zone was about three meters, just north of Kathmandu.

Mount Everest After Kathmandu Earthquake

Mount Everest  in Nepal and although Kathmandu moved, it’s unlikely that Everest, the highest peak in the world, moved more than a few millimeters. The mountain doesn’t sit directly near or on the fault line. However, Mount Everest has had avalanche issues from the earthquake. The slip was west of Everest and the dip wasn’t enough to affect it. Mount Everest stands about 29,000 feet above sea level. There were about 18 people killed in avalanches on the mountain at the time the initial earthquake hit. It’s expected to continue to experience aftershocks, but nothing that will affect the movement of the national landmark.

Possibility of Kathmandu Earthquake in the Future

Nepal is in danger of even bigger earthquakes than the one that hit Saturday. On the Kathmandu earthquake on April 25th, seismologists claim that earthquakes in that region are capable of being much bigger and causing even more damage than that already being dealt with. Nepal has been overdue for a major earthquake, the last one being an 8.2 that occurred in 1934, killing over 8,000 people. The country sits on a fault making it susceptible to earthquakes. Instead of the plates slipping under one another, it causes India to slam into Asia causing extensive damage. Even aftershocks of an earthquake the magnitude of a 7 or 8 could cause significant damage to the area.

As seen here in this short video of Nepal’s mountain biker Chris Keeling’s athleticism, Nepal’s mountains can be a source of true enjoyment and adventure: