On April 25, 2015, one of the most tragic earthquakes occurred in the Himalayas. Nepal, where the epicenter of the tremor was located, suffered the most. Many times at that time we could hear information about more victims, injured people or material losses. This time, however, let’s take a look at why this earthquake occurred and what unusual changes in nature were observed after the cataclysm.
Find out more about the events from below Mount Everest in 2015 by watching the program “Tragedy on Mount Everest” on Saturday, September 18 at 10 p.m. on the Polsat Dock channel.
As a result of the earthquake 8964 people died and more than 23,000 were injured. The magnitude of the tremor was 7.8 on the Richter scale, and the epicenter was in the district of Lamjung at a distance of only 75 kilometers from the capital Kathmandu.
The whole world watched with sadness the reports from Nepal. Many countries have sent humanitarian aid to the Himalayan country. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to send rescuers Polish Centre for International Aid. For many months, small, poor Nepal was recovering from the natural disaster that struck it.
The cause of the earthquake? The movement of tectonic plates
Nepal, specifically the entire Himalayan chain, is in an active seismic zone associated with shifting tectonic plates. The Indian subcontinent (in the geological sense) has been shifting towards the Eurasian plate. 20 million years ago, the two continental plates collided.
As a result of the collision, one plate began to “slide” under the other. This can be illustrated as follows India slid under China. This type of collision is happening all the time, and as a result, people have been experiencing earthquakes in present-day Nepal and northern India since the very beginning.
The process of subductionas the collision of tectonic plates is called by scientists, also initiated the uplift of the Himalayas several million years ago.
Mount Everest. The mountain “changed course”.
The earthquake of 2015 was just one of many that have struck the mountain region in the past. The force on April 23 that year was strong enough to lead to several noticeable environmental changes.
Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, has shifted 0.4 meters in a northeasterly direction (that’s 4 centimeters per year) and grown 3 centimeters in the 10 years preceding the 2015 quake, according to scientists’ calculations. This is also the general rate of “rubbing” of the Indian plate on the Eurasian plate, which causes regular tremors in this part of the world.
As a result of the earthquake, it has been shown in the measurements of scientists that Mount Everest changed its course to the southwest and moved 3 centimeters in that direction. Only a tremendous force from within the Earth could have made such a “turn of events”.
Kathmandu. The capital city has changed its place
An unusual thing was also discovered by British seismologists. After analyzing preliminary seismic data, Cambridge University geologist James Jackson determined that Nepal’s capital had shifted about 3 meters to the north. Thus, a small part of Kathmandu has slipped beneath the Eurasian plate.
It is unusual to see such huge changes in the environment. Geological processes usually occur at such a slow pace that sometimes the effects of shifting tectonic plates cannot be seen on the scale of human life. W Kathmandu while 3 meters of ground have been irrevocably pulled under the second tectonic plate.
The Himalayas continue to be active. Mount Everest even higher
The uplift of the world’s highest mountains continues, so the people of Nepal and neighboring regions can continue to expect major or minor earthquakes.
As mentioned above, Mount Everest is also rising by several centimeters every year. This causes inaccuracies in the measurements of surveyors from different countries. For several years there has been a conflict between Nepal and China over how many meters the world’s highest mountain located on the border of the two countries really is.
An expedition of surveyors from Nepal and China at the end of 2020 finally resolved all doubts. It turned out that Mount Everest. had grown by almost a meter since the previous measurements in 1954.
Officially, the highest peak Himalayas measures 8848.86 meters. The measurement has little meaning, because the second mountain – K2 – is as much as 237 meters lower. Nevertheless, the surveyors’ result is clear evidence of high tectonic activity in the Himalayas, which will not stop soon.
Learn more about the events below Mount Everest in 2015 by watching the program “Tragedy on Mount Everest” on Saturday, September 18 at 22:00 on Polsat Doc channel.