Nepal was hit by a series of earthquakes on October 3, 2023, leaving a trail of destruction, injuries, and panic. The seismic activities, including quakes of magnitudes 6.3 and 5.3, originated in the Bajhang district, bordering India. The aftermath saw landslides, damaged homes, and disrupted communication routes, impacting both Nepal and parts of northern India. This article synthesizes information from three different sources to provide a comprehensive overview of the events.
Impact and Casualties
On October 3, 2023, a series of earthquakes struck western Nepal, primarily centered in Talkot and Chainpur. The seismic events, separated by approximately 30 minutes, measured 6.3 and 5.3 in magnitude. The tremors were felt as far away as New Delhi, where residents rushed out of their homes and offices.
The earthquakes resulted in 11 reported injuries, with seven women and four men seeking medical treatment. Tragically, one woman went missing after being struck by a landslip triggered by the quake. Homes in Chainpur collapsed, and a landslide blocked a major highway, disrupting vital communication routes.
The seismic activities were not confined to Nepal alone. Reports indicate that tremors were felt in northern India, including New Delhi-NCR, Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow, Hapur, and Amroha, as well as parts of Uttarakhand. The Hindustan Times reported that the earthquake lasted for more than 40 seconds, inducing panic among residents.
The Delhi police issued a statement cautioning citizens against using elevators and urging them to vacate buildings. Despite the intensity of the quakes, there were no immediate reports of substantial damage in India.
Response and Refutations
In the aftermath, the District Hospital Bajhang received at least five new patients. Local authorities reported numerous homes developing cracks, and a district police office building suffered damage. However, despite the intensity of the earthquakes, initial reports did not indicate significant property damage in India.
A day before the seismic events, a Dutch research organization, the Solar System Geometry Survey (SSGS), predicted a powerful earthquake in Pakistan along the Chaman fault line. However, these claims were refuted by scientists, seismologists, and geologists.
Chronology of Events
The earthquakes occurred around 2:30 pm, with magnitudes 6.3 and 5.3 rocking the Bajhang area, causing a landslide close to the epicenter. Subsequently, two more earthquakes of slightly smaller magnitudes occurred at 3:06 and 3:19 pm.
Images circulated online depicted furniture shaking, and locals emerging from their homes and workplaces, reflecting the widespread panic induced by the seismic events.
The series of earthquakes in Nepal on October 3, 2023, had far-reaching consequences, affecting not only the epicenter region but also triggering panic and disruptions in neighboring India. While the immediate focus remains on rescue and recovery efforts, these events underscore the importance of regional collaboration in disaster preparedness and response. As both Nepal and India grapple with the aftermath, international attention turns to the need for strengthened seismic monitoring and preparedness measures in the face of natural disasters.