Powerful earthquake strike north India and Nepal - Nepal

Powerful earthquake strike north India and Nepal

A 5.7 magnitude of earthquake strike Northern India and Nepal on April 4 2011
A 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck Northern India and Nepal on April 4, 2011.

Kathmandu – After the devastating earthquake in Japan two weeks ago, almost every day there are shocks noticed around the world and in a row.  A 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck parts of northern India and Nepal on Monday, officials said, but no damage was immediately reported.

The epicenter of the quake was near the India-Nepal border, an official of the Indian Metro-logical Department said.

The tremor was felt in New Delhi, where many people rushed out of buildings.

Update 20:13 UTC: As said before there will be no news for many more hours from the remote earthquake area as it is currently the middle of the night in this part of the world.

Update 20:11 UTC: NPC nuclear power plant at Narora, about 120 km from Delhi, continued to operate normally during and after the quake. It has to be said that the epicenter of the moderate, but dangerous earthquake, was approx. 250 to 300 km distance from the power plant.

Update 15:40 UTC: As always the media is emphasizing that there are NO reports of damage or casualties, and this is on a worldwide basis. Almost nobody is telling their readers that it is far too soon to talk about a non-damaging earthquake. As the epicenter is located in the pre-Himalayan hills it will take AT LEAST 12 hours to find out whether there is damage or injuries.

Update 15:36 UTC: As we like the technical way of explaining the Indian news report of the earthquake in Newsxlive, we are bringing it to our readers with pleasure. We do not agree however that it is not dangerous. This will certainly not be the case for India, but we still believe that the hilly region in Nepal is still at high risk for damage/injuries.

Update 15:09 UTC: The earthquake has been felt well in New Delhi which is at a closer distance than Kathmandu.
Update 14:27 UTC: We have zoomed in to Google Earth to check whether there are people living and working in the direct epicenter area (according to the exact location of USGS.  The answer is Yes, there are cultured terraces in the immediate vicinity of the epicenter.
The map shows also trails in the immediate vicinity but NO houses.

Update 14:16 UTC: Hanneke Barth wrote us via Facebook from Kathmandu, Nepal.
A friend felt it strongly in Nepalgunj, though only for a few seconds. The colleagues in Delhi felt it too. Here in Kathmandu, we haven’t felt a thing.
It happened two hours ago and it’s dark now. So probably more news won’t follow until morning.

Update 14:13 UTC: Based on theoretical data, this earthquake can cause fatalities. 32% chance of 1 to 10 fatalities; 15% chance of 10 to 100 fatalities and 50% chance of 0 to 1 fatality.

Update 13:55 UTC: Epicenter calculation is always very difficult. Most of the time, the local seismological services are placed best to locate the epicenter, based on their own calculations which can be compared very fast with local experiences.

Update 13:45 UTC: If  Search and Rescue teams would have to be transported to the earthquake area, the good news is that small STOL (short take-off and landing) airplanes or helicopters can land in Darchula which is in the earthquake area (providing that the landing strip is not severely damaged). The bad news however is that this can only happen during daylight (tomorrow) as airplanes have to fly on sight.

Update 13:41 UTC: As the epicenter area has NO local press and is very far away from the capital Kathmandu, the news gathering in Nepal itself is far less than what you can read in the earthquake report. We do NOT expect that this changes rapidly.

Update 13:33 UTC: the greater epicenter area has only a few roads and mostly narrow trails which are being used by the local people to carry goods from 1 village to another.

Update 13:30 UTC: Based on our experience with earthquakes in similar areas, we expect that reports from the epicenter area will reach us only in 8 to 15 hours. It will be soon dark in the area.

Update 13:30 UTC: We do NOT expect major damage on the Indian side of the border, but we do expect serious damage in the villages near the epicenter. The continuing data streams we are receiving are confirming the dangerous aspect of this earthquake.

Update 13:26 UTC: We especially fear the very strong and strong shaking values of VII and VI MMI. Based on Armand’s knowledge and experience during the so many travels in Nepal, a VI MMI can cause already a lot of damage.

Update 13:24 UTC: USGS expects that 4,000 people will have experienced very strong shaking. 128,000 a strong shaking and 1,225,000 people a moderate shaking.

Update 13:22 UTC: Contrary to what they normally do with earthquakes less than 5.5, USGS has published a pager map, indicating a few very bad figures (which we will explain instantly)!

Update 13:18 UTC: The epicenter location (following the Nepali seismological Service) is close to Chhapari. Chhapari is a village of 2,227 inhabitants (361 individual households).

Update 13:15 UTC: Baitadi has a population of 5,352.

Update 12:44 UTC: The shaking lasted for approx. 15 seconds. This is an additional bad sign combined with the earthquake data. The longer the shaking takes, the more chance of damage.

Update 12:42 UTC: Based on Nepali Seismological service, the epicenter is located in Chhapri in the Darchula district. The tremor was also felt in the neighboring districts.

Update 12:39 UTC: EMSC has changed its earthquake data as follows: Magnitude: 5.6  Depth: 15 km. A little better but still very dangerous.

Update 12:38 UTC: As you can see on the image, this is an extremely dangerous area for landslides. Farmers in this area are cultivating terraces.

Update 12:33 UTC: Closest villages are: Athpali, Suadi, Mankot, and Chaubisho

Update 12:28 UTC: The earthquake has been felt as far as New Delhi

Update 12:23 UTC: We are currently trying to find out the situation as close as possible to the epicenter.

Update 12:18 UTC: EMSC maintains its data: 5.7 magnitudes at a depth of 10 km

Update 12:16 UTC: Baitadi (Nepal) closest city to the epicenter

Update 12:05 UTC: USGS has confirmed the earthquake with slightly different parameters: Magnitude 5.4 depth 12.5 km. These data are better but the earthquake report predicts this earthquake to be very dangerous.

Update 12:02 UTC: The earthquake’s epicenter should be at the Nepali side of the border, approx. 50 km from Baitadi

Update 12:00 UTC: The earthquake occurred 28 minutes ago

Update 11:59 UTC : 26 km SE Dashrathchand (pop 18,317)

Update 11:58 UTC: no confirmation from USGS yet

Earlier in the news:

A shallow and dangerous earthquake occurred in the mountainous India  East Nepal border area. Preliminary data locate the earthquake in a mountainous area, at least 50 km from the Nepali town of Baitadi. The earthquake is very shallow, which makes it (even at a magnitude of 5.4) extremely dangerous for the villages around the epicenter.
The earthquake seems to be very shallow data has to be confirmed by at least 1 other seismological agency.
Preliminary EMSC data is depth: 10 km Magnitude: 5.7
Combination is these 2 numbers makes this earthquake extremely dangerous.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude: 5.4
UTC Time: Monday, April 04, 2011, at 11:31:40 UTC
Local time at epicenter: Monday, April 04, 2011, at 05:01:40 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter): 12.5 km (Very shallow !!)
Send an earthquake experience report for this earthquake
Geo-location(s) :
94 km (58 miles) NNE (25°) from Mahendranagar, Nepal
50 km from Baitadi, Nepal

Source: Earthquake.com and other News Media.