Nepal Struck by 6.4M Earthquake: Scores Death in the Aftermath!

November 8, 2023 by No Comments

Nepal is a landlocked country between two Asian giants China and India. Nepal is a mountainous nation where earthquakes can be prevalent.

On November 3, 2023, a strong earthquake occurred in Nepal’s western district of Jajarkot. Tragically taking at least 150 lives and injuring hundreds more. The earthquake had a considerable effect on structures not just in nearby New Delhi, India. The effects were felt in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, which is situated over 300 miles away as well. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake had an initial magnitude of 5.6 and occurred at a depth of 11 miles, with its epicenter situated in Jajarkot.

There were many casualties and injuries as a result of the catastrophic destruction in Jajarkot and the neighboring Rukum region. Since Nepal is situated in the Himalayan region, earthquakes frequently occur there. A 6.3-magnitude earthquake that occurred not too long ago in the western Bajhang district resulted in injuries.

Looking at the past, two catastrophic earthquakes struck Nepal in 2015, leaving 22,309 people injured and 9,000 people dead. Moreover, an avalanche on Mount Everest caused by the 2015 earthquake claimed the lives of 19 climbers. It also left hundreds more stranded at the base camp. Furthermore, in 1934, a significant earthquake in Nepal claimed almost 10,000 lives.

Nepal’s Historic Earthquakes

Historical earthquakes are the preservation of records of previous earthquakes in different formats, such as written narratives, inscriptions, or chronicles. Because our country Nepal lacks the tools to record earthquakes from earlier centuries, these historical records are essential. They are necessary for estimating the danger of future earthquakes. The location, timing, and magnitude of earthquakes as well as the amount of damage they imposed are all documented. Historical documents contain these details.

For example, an earthquake in the year 1255 A.D. devastated numerous structures, including temples, and left a large number of people dead in the Kathmandu Valley. Similarly, another earthquake in 1408 A.D. caused damage to Patan’s Machhendra Nath temple. Likewise, there are unknown locations for the earthquakes that happened in 1681 and 1810 A.D.

Newer studies based on older records have yielded more detailed information about the 1833 A.D. earthquake that rocked the Kathmandu Valley. The earthquake happened with a magnitude of 7.8 roughly 50 kilometers northeast of Kathmandu. Thankfully, there were not many human casualties, probably as a result of the two significant foreshocks that occurred.

Likewise, talking about the most devastating earthquakes that occurred were in 1934 and 2015 with magnitudes of 8 and 7.8 respectively. To date, it is Nepal’s worst earthquake with nearly 10,700-12,000 in 1934 and above 8,000 in 2015.

Moreover, Nepal experienced notable earthquakes, including the Assam earthquake of 1897, the Kangra earthquake of 1905, and the Assam earthquake of 1950. It is difficult to forecast the potential recurrence dates of large earthquakes due to incomplete historical earthquake records.

Recent Earthquake in Western Nepal

At approximately midnight, a strong earthquake in western Nepal caused the terrible deaths of over 150 individuals.

Rescuers frantically tried to reach the mountainous villages where the earthquake had occurred, while thousands of residents in the Karnali Province waited outside in dread of aftershocks. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the earthquake’s magnitude as 5.6 and 6.4 by the National Earthquake Monitoring and Research Center in Nepal. They recorded a number of minor aftershocks as well.

Survivors spent their night roofless
Survivors spent their night roofless

The earthquake struck while the majority of people were asleep, affecting New Delhi, India. Families in the impacted areas stayed outside that night out of concern for aftershocks. Approximately five thousand houses were damaged or completely demolished, leaving entire villages ready for another night spent outside.

Jajarkot lies about 310 miles west of the nation’s capital, where the earthquake’s epicenter was located. They recorded 105 confirmed deaths, 500 injuries, and several damaged houses in Jajarkot. In the nearby Rukum West region, they documented 52 deaths and more than 300 injuries. The worst damage occurred in locations where buildings were constructed on slopes.

Airlifting earthquake victim in affected areas
Airlifting earthquake victims in affected areas

As a result of this incident, hospitals in Jajarkot overflowed with patients. Helicopters were airlifting patients to hospitals in other districts, and others were treating patients on balconies and in hallways. The prime minister of Nepal gave the army and national police forces the order to begin relief and rescue efforts.

In order to help the impacted communities, the United Nations and humanitarian groups mobilized relief supplies from stockpiles spread around the nation.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Statement

According to Nepalese authorities, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in a remote area of the country tragically claimed at least 157 lives and injured hundreds more. The death toll is certain to rise. The earthquake wrought significant damage, and residents searched for survivors in the nighttime destruction of collapsed homes and buildings.

Beyond Nepal, the shocks from the earthquake extended over 500 kilometers to New Delhi. The Disaster Management Department of Bihar reported that several districts near the border between India and Nepal, including Patna, Katihar, East Champaran, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, West Champaran, Sasaram, and Nawada, felt the effects.

Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the prime minister of Nepal, offered condolences for the substantial number of fatalities and infrastructural damage brought on by the earthquake. He quickly coordinated the three security agencies to begin rescue and relief operations right away.

Similarly, Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, expressed his profound sorrow over the deaths and devastation caused by the strong earthquake. He provided support and reaffirmed India’s solidarity with Nepal.

Nepal is situated on the fault line that separates two of the major tectonic plates, making it vulnerable to earthquakes. About 9,000 people lost their lives and over a million structures were severely damaged in 2015’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal, which had a huge economic impact on one of the poorest nations in South Asia that was estimated to be in the billions of dollars. The convergence of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates formed the Himalayas, making Nepal a zone prone to geological activity and frequent earthquakes.

Also read: Nepal 2023: Battle for Challenging Economy!