Moderate but dangerous earthquake in Rukum (West Nepal) – at least 20 people injured + many houses and government buildings collapsed or damaged

Last update: March 8, 2013 at 11:17 am by By

Update 11:11 UTC on March 8
The local newspaper The Himalayan wrote yesterday :
The quake measuring 5.4 lasted about 20 seconds. Some houses and schools collapsed.
The houses of Gopi Khadka of Nuwakot VDC and Indra Bahadur Khadka of Bijeshwori VDC-8 were destroyed. Most of the houses, schools and toilets in Kholgaun VDC have cracked due to the effects of earthquake. Binod Sharma, a local, however, said no human casualty had been reported so far. Some school buildings and water mills were destroyed in western Bijeshwori.
The tremor is said to have caused huge destruction in the district headquarters. The building used by Nepal Police deployed for the security of Salle Airport has also been destroyed, said Rukum DSP Rajendra Prasad Bhatta. Meanwhile, there has been no news of casualties that might have occurred in the quake’s epicentre — the border areas of Arma, Nuwakot, Kholagaun, Bijeshwori, Peughau among other VDCs.
Tremors were also felt in Salyan, Jajarkot, Dang, Rolpa and Gulmi among other districts.
Locals of the headquarters Khalanga had come out of their house into the open space after the tremor was felt.
Courtesy and copyright of the very informative The Himalayan.


Update 09:30 UTC :
Nepalnews.com reported, “at least two dozen people sustained ‘minor injuries’ as people rushed out of their houses in the District Headquarters Musikot” citing the local officials. We will of course bring more news when it becomes available.

Important Update March 7 09:16 UTC :
Unfortunately, our initial expectations were close to the reality.
Following the Nepali Newspaper “The Himalayan”, the real epicenter was in the Rukum area, an area who had several quakes last year too. Yesterday’s quake did luckily not cause any casualties (at least as far as we know at the time of writing). Some houses collapsed however in Kholagaun VDC and school buildings in Bijeshwori VDC – 8 were collapsed owing to the shake.
The quake also damaged a house used by Nepal Police at Salle Airport.  District Police Office Rukum informed that they are yet to get details of the damages.
Nepal National Seismological Centre reported a ML5.4 magnitude. Epicenter following the Nepal National Seismological Centre (most reliable).


Update 18:44 UTC : The National Seismological Centre in Nepal is reporting a Magnitude of Ml5.4 ! No other data (depth or epicenter coordinates) have been reported.

Update 17:49 UTC : USGS has just reported a Magnitude of 5.0 at a depth of 10 km. The depth of 10 km should be explained as shallow, but we dont know it exactly (10 km is used worldwide for this purpose). We want to emphasize however that NO seismological agency reports the truth and only the truth as seismology is not an exact science. Our experience tells us that the agency who has instruments closest to the epicenter (in this case probably India) is the most accurate. We keep our moderately dangerous status for this earthquake.

Update 17:37 UTC : One of the most difficult disciplines in seismology is calculating the exact epicenter of an earthquake. Also in this case all agencies are reporting different parameters. The more instruments are installed near an epicenter, the better the result will be. It will take us probably until Thursday morning before eventual news will arrive from the epicenter area.

Image courtesy Chandra Neupane - Click on the picture for more images

Image courtesy Chandra Neupane – Click on the picture for more images – Landscape in the epicenter region

Update 17:21 UTC : The India Meteorological Agency reports a Magnitude of Mb4.4 at the extremely shallow depth of 4 km ! Such an earthquake can damage a narrow radius around the epicenter. Lets cross fingers that no damage will be inflicted.
Your writing host has been visiting Nepal almost 20 times (different areas), knows the trails, building style of the houses etc.  This makes me even more concerned.

Update 17:16 UTC : W reader wrote us a couple of minutes ago that in Pokhara it was felt as a slight tremor.  The distance from the epicenter to Pokhara is approx. 200 km. Only a 25 km radius around the epicenter is considered by earthquake-report.com as dangerous (based on the current available data).

Update 17:10 UTC : We do not expect to receive I Have Felt It reports as this is a remote area in Nepal with only limited communications. We call this earthquake moderately dangerous because of the high danger of landslides.

The map below that this earthquake occurred in an area who was shaken often the last couple of months. All earthquakes were moderate.
Epicenter very close to Jumla, well know by Himalaya tourists

278 km NE Lakhnau (pop 2,472,011 ; local time 22:19:50.6 2013-03-06)
178 km N Bahraich (pop 182,218 ; local time 22:19:50.6 2013-03-06)
52 km NE Narayan (pop 20,908 ; local time 22:19:50.6 2013-03-06)
20 km S Jumla (pop 9,073 ; local time 22:34:50.6 2013-03-06)

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 4.8

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2013-03-06 22:34:49

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-03-06 16:49:49

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 2 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

Share your earthquake experience (I Have Felt It) with our readers.
Click on the “I Felt It” button behind the corresponding earthquake. Your earthquake experience is not only important for science, but also for people in the area as well as our global readership.

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
EMSC Nepal Mar 06 16:49 4.8 2 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Pokhara - very slight tremor
  • Pokhara, Nepal - Tremor felt from indoors. Lasting up to 5-10 seconds. Bringing people out from inside surrounding buildings
  • Pokhara - My bed trembled
  • Pokhara - Brought us out of bed to the rooftop, everyone else was doing the same.
  • Butwal, nepal - I was about to sleep and I saw my fan shaking and everything else. I asked my mom and sister and they even felt the same.
  • Basundhara, Kathmandu - me and my sister felt a shake on 6th march around 10:15 pm
  • Pokhara, Kaski - I sat in a rattan chair outside my room with tucked up legs when the chair all of a sudden started swinging.
  • GEOFON Nepal Mar 06 16:49 4.8 10 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Nepal Mar 06 16:49 5.0 10 MAP I Felt It INFO


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    Country where you felt the earthquake
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake
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    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    People
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
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