All The Powerful & Devastating Earthquake History Of Nepal

Major Earthquake History of Nepal.

Details of all major historical earthquakes in Nepal


Geographical situation Of Nepal

Nepal is a mountainous country located in the middle of the Great Himalayan range of South Asia. High mountains and hills cover more than two-thirds of the land of it. Earthquakes that have occurred at different times in Nepal’s history have caused considerable loss of life and property. So, In here, we are talking about the devastating history of earthquakes in Nepal.

Nepal is in seismic zones in the world

Nepal is also counted as one of the most powerful seismic zones in the world. That is why it has been observed that major earthquakes occur here from time to time. The main reason for this is the condition of the underground structure of the earth in this area.

The Indian tectonic plate under the Indian Peninsula is sliding beneath the Eurasian tectonic plate in the northern part of Nepal at the rate of 2 cm per year. Hence, the region has been scientifically confirmed as an earthquake-prone area.

As a result, Nepal has a history of earthquakes of large destructive magnitude every century, in addition to various small and medium earthquakes. If we look at the history, there is a record of earthquakes of up to 8 Rector scale magnitude in Nepal every century.

Major factors to increase the damage during the earthquakes in Nepal

Generally, in a country like Nepal, an earthquake above the 5 Richter scale can be damaging because Nepal is a developing, hilly country.

Therefore, even a small earthquake could cause a lot of damage in Nepal. If the soil or rocks of a mountain are shaken even a little, they can slip and result in a massive disaster.

 Apart from this, the following elements play a major role in increasing the damage in this area. 

  • First, most houses in rural areas are built without technical consultation or design. Also, many houses in remote areas of the mountains are made of mud and stone, which are easily damaged by earthquakes. This is one of the major causes of human casualties during earthquakes.
  • Secondly, it has been observed that earthquakes that occur at night or when people are sleeping cause more human damage. At that time, people could not run quickly to a safe place.
  • The third reason also depends on the nature of the epicenter of the earthquake. Such as how far below the ground the epicenter of the earthquake is and how raw or solid the nature of the surrounding land is. Like this, the structural condition of the land also plays a role in the damage because this condition is responsible for shaking, breaking, or collapse of the ground. In addition, two-thirds of Nepal is hilly, so earthshaking causes a land sliding event, too.

Earthquake History Of Nepal

Being one of the most powerful seismic zones in the world, Nepal has a long history of devastating earthquakes.

However, if we look at the history of earthquakes in Nepal, there is no factual record of earthquakes before the year 1255 AD.

The development of technology at that time was not as it is today, where all earthquake events could be measured, and damage details could be easily collected.

Therefore, only earthquake events from before this time are mentioned based on various records.

Since the 20th century, nearly two dozen devastating earthquakes have been recorded, causing varying degrees of damage to the country. The epicenter of these earthquakes was in Nepal or neighboring countries.

This is such a devastating and painful Earthquake History Of Nepal that caused damage to so much of the historical heritage of this country And the loss of many People’s lives.

Earthquake History Of Nepal
Collapsed buildings in earthquake-hit Chautara, Nepal” by DFID – UK Department for International Development is licensed under CC BY 2.0

List of all the Earthquake History Of Nepal

  • Earthquake Date: 1255/07/07
  • Epicenter: Nearby Kathmandu
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 7.8 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 2200 People with King Abhaya Malla (Nearly a third of the population of Kathmandu had died)
    • Injured: N/A
  • Damage: Many Structures, houses, temples, etc.
  • Earthquake Date: 1260
  • Epicenter: Nearby Everest
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 7.1 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 100 People
    • Injured: N/A
  • Damage: Many residential buildings, monumental and architectural heritage.
  • Earthquake Date: 1344
  • Epicenter: Mechi
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 7.9 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 100 People
    • Injured: N/A
  • Damage: Many Structures, houses, temples, etc.
  • Earthquake Date: 1408, July
  • Epicenter: Nepal/Tibet Border
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 8.2 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 2500 People
    • Injured: N/A
  • Damage: The temple of Machhendranath and many other temples and houses were destroyed. The land also was split wide open somewhere.
  • Earthquake Date: 1505/05/06
  • Epicenter: Mustang (Nepal/Tibet Border, immediate ‘Lo’ Kingdom)
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 8.9 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 6000 People
    • Injured: N/A
  • Damage: Many Structures, houses, temples, etc.
  • Earthquake Date: 1681, January
  • Epicenter: North Of Koshi zone
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 8.0 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 4500 People
    • Injured: N/A
  • Damage: Many Structures, houses, temples, etc.
  • Earthquake Date: 1667, July
  • Epicenter: North Of Kathmandu
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 7.9 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 4000 People
    • Injured: N/A
  • Damage: Many Structures, houses, temples, etc.
  • Earthquake Date: 1833/08/26, 6:00 PM
  • Epicenter: Kathmandu, Bihar
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 8.0 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 6500 People
    • Injured: N/A
  • Damage: The famous Jagannath temple (100 Feet tall) was destroyed. The tower of Dharahara was severely damaged. About 18,000 structures were destroyed in the country.
  • Earthquake Date: 1869/07/07
  • Epicenter: Nearby Kathmandu
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 6.5 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 750 People
    • Injured: N/A
  • Damage: Many Structures, houses, temples, etc.
  • Earthquake Date: 1916/08/26, Am 6:39
  • Epicenter: Nepal/Tibet Border
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 7.7 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 3500 People
    • Injured: N/A
  • Damage: Many Structures, houses, temples, etc.
  • Earthquake Date: 1934/01/15, PM 2:25 NST
  • Epicenter: 10 KM. South From Mount Everest
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 8.0 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 12000 People, including two of the then King’s daughters (10 and 8 years old)
    • Injured: N/A
  • Damage: Badly affected Nepal-Bihar, India / Both the Famous Towers of Kathmandu, the Dharahara, and the Clock Tower fell into pieces. Many Infrastructures were destroyed all over Nepal / Total of 90 thousand houses were fully destroyed, and 120 thousand were partially damaged.
  • Earthquake Date: 1966/06/27, AM 10:41 NST
  • Epicenter: Doti, Nepal
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 6.3 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 80 People
    • Injured: N/A
  • Damage: Many Structures, houses, temples, etc.
  • Earthquake Date: 1980/07/29, PM 14:58 NST
  • Epicenter: Pithauragad, India (Western Nepal Border)
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 6.5 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 200 People
    • Injured: 248 People
  • Damage: Many Structures, houses, temples, etc.
  • Earthquake Date: 1988/08/20, AM 4:54 NST
  • Epicenter: Udaipur, Nepal
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 6.9 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 721 People
    • Injured: 6553 People
  • Damage: 64174 private buildings, 468 public houses, 790 government buildings, etc.
  • Earthquake Date: 2011/09/18, PM 18:25
  • Epicenter: Sikkim, India
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 6.9 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 6 People
    • Injured: 30 People
  • Damage: As many as 12,301 people were reported to be displaced due to this earthquake in Nepal. Many more property and life losses occurred in Sikkim and Darjeeling, India.
  • Earthquake Date: 2015/04/25, AM 11:56
  • Epicenter: Gorkha, Nepal
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 7.8 Richter scale
  • The main shock, 7.8 M. on April 25, 2015 (Gorkha District, Nepal, Epicenter)
    • 1st major Aftershock, 6.7 M. on April 25, 2015 (Central Nepal Epicenter)
    • 2nd major Aftershock, 6.9 M. on 26 April 2015 (Central Nepal Epicenter)
    • 3rd major Aftershock, 7.3 M. on 12 May 2015 (Dolakha District, Nepal, Epicenter)
    • More aftershocks: There were more than 300 aftershocks.
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 8857 People
    • Injured: 22,309 People
  • Damage / Losses:
    • More than 600,000 structures in Kathmandu and other nearby towns were either damaged or destroyed.
    • Fourteen out of 75 districts in Nepal were declared a crisis-hit zone by the government immediately after the earthquake.
    • Property Losses: $7 billion (USD; NPC, 2015)
    • Affected 8 million people in 31 Districts.
    • The earthquake displaced three million people

  • Earthquake Date: 2022/11/09, AM 02:12
  • Epicenter: Doti, Nepal
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 5.7 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 6 People
    • Injured: N/A
  • Damage: Many Structures, houses, temples, etc.
  • Earthquake Date: 2023/11/03, PM 23:47
  • Epicenter: Jajarkot, Nepal
  • Magnitude Of Earthquake: 5.7 Richter scale
  • Casualty:
    • Death: 157 People (Including Deputy Mayor)
    • Injured: 366 People
  • Damage: Many Structures, houses, temples, etc.
  • This is the largest earthquake to impact Nepal after the 7.3M earthquake of 2015. It is the latest in a series of earthquakes to hit western Nepal in the past year; Jajarkot, Doti, Bajura, Bajhang, Darchula, Achham, and Dolpa have been among the districts in western Nepal affected by various earthquakes since November 2022

In Addition, Not only is the Earthquake History Of Nepal

The following major earthquakes have occurred in the area near Nepal, but their epicenter was in neighboring India, which also affected Nepal:

Neighboring Earthquake History Of Nepal

  • 1897 in Assam (India),
  • 1905 in Kangada (India), 7.5 Richter Scale
  • 1950 in Assam (India),
  • 2005 in Kashmir (India), 7.6 Richter Scale

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