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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-195
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 27 Jul 2018

Research article | 27 Jul 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Characteristics of surface damage in China during the 25 April 2015 Nepal earthquake

Zhonghai Wu1, Patrick J. Barosh2,3, Xin Yao1, and Yongqiang Xu4 Zhonghai Wu et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Neotectonic Movement & Geohazard, Ministry of Natural Resources, Institute of Geomechanics, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • 2P. J. Barosh and associates, 103 Aaron Avenue, Bristol, RI 02809, USA
  • 3Visiting Research Fellow, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • 4China Institute of Geo-Environment Monitoring, Beijing 100081, China

Abstract. The seismic effects in Nyalam, Gyirong, Tingri and Dinggye counties along the southern border of Tibet were investigated during 2–8 May, 2015, a week after the great Nepal earthquake along the Main Himalaya Thrust. The intensity was VIII in the region and reached IX at two towns on the Nepal border; resulting in the destruction of 2700 buildings, seriously damaging over 40000 others, while killing 27 people and injuring 856 in this sparsely populated region. The main geologic effects in this steep rugged region are collapses, landslides, rockfalls, and ground fissures; many of which are reactivations of older land slips. These did great damage to the buildings, roads and bridges in the region. Most of the effects are along four incised valleys which are controlled by N–S trending rifts and contain rivers that pass through the Himalaya Mountains and flow into Nepal; at least two of the larger aftershocks occurred along the normal faults. Areas weakened by the earthquake pose post-seismic hazards. Three valleys have the potential for dangerous post-seismic debris flows that could create dangerous dams especially during the monsoon season. Loosened rock and older slides also may fail. In addition, there is an increased seismic hazard along active N–S trending grabens in southern Tibet due to the shift in stress resulting from the thrust movement that caused the Nepal earthquake. NW trending right-lateral strike-slip faults also may be susceptible to movement. The results of the findings are incorporated in some principle recommendations for the repair and reconstruction after the earthquake.

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