NEPAL EARTHQUAKE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Disaster Management)

News-CRUX-10     6th November 2023        
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Context: The Prime Minister of India has expressed deep grief over the loss of lives due to the earthquake in Nepal.

Nepal’s Seismic Vulnerability

  • Location: Nepal sits atop a convergent boundary, where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates collide, leading to the accumulation of stress and strain in the crust. 
  • This pressure is eventually released in the form of earthquakes.
  • Subduction Zone: Nepal is also situated in a subduction zone. This subduction process further amplifies the stress and strain within the crust, contributing to the occurrence of earthquakes in Nepal.
  • Poor building construction practices: Many structures in Nepal are constructed with unreinforced masonry, which lacks strength and can easily crumble during an earthquake.


Earthquake

  • About: An earthquake is a violent and abrupt shaking of the ground, caused by movement between tectonic plates along a fault line in the earth's crust. 
  • Earthquakes can result in ground shaking, soil liquefaction, landslides, fissures, avalanches, fires, and tsunamis.
  • Focus and Epicentre: The initial point of energy release is the focus, and the surface point above it is the epicenter.
  • Foreshocks and Aftershocks: Major earthquakes often involve minor aftershocks and sometimes have preceding foreshocks.
  • Swarms: Clusters of small earthquakes are called swarms and often indicate impending volcanic activity.
  • Distribution of Earthquakes: Circum-Pacific Belt, Alpine Belt, Oceanic Ridges and Rift Valleys.
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