April 25, 2015
The earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, was the biggest quake since the 1934 Bihar quake. It was measured 7.8 on the moment magnitude scale. This region has experienced four quakes above magnitude 6 within the past century, and Nepal has a long history of earthquakes because of its location.
- This quake struck at an estimated depth of 9.3 miles.
How Did This Happen?
When earthquakes occur, it is caused by strain that builds up in Earth’s crust until it gives way, usually along old fault lines. In this case the strain is built by the collision or convergence of two plates.
A number of factors caused this quake to be as powerful as it was. It was very shallow: an estimated 15km below the surface at the quake’s epicentre. Plus, it saw a large movement of the earth (a maximum of 3m). Finally, the ruptured part of the fault plane extended under a densely populated area in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
What Is An Earthquake?
Watch this video from National Geographic that explains all about earthquakes.
Nepal is a developing country with a low income economy, that was ranked 145th of 187 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2014. The country continues to struggle with high levels of hunger and poverty. Although they're dealing with fighting these challenges, the country has been making steady progress. Now that this earthquake has struck, things are beginning to go downhill. Fortunately, there is a website for people to donate money to help Nepal.