In Nepal, there is a popular folklore that there is a major earthquake once in 80 years. This has in fact been backed up by science as well, which shows that a major earthquake takes once in 80 years. After the 1934 earthquake, which resulted in massive destruction, there have been smaller earthquakes that Nepal has witnessed.
However, it was last year that several people of Nepal had expressed concern about an earthquake which could be big. There had said that a big one is overdue and people should prepare for the worst.
The talk about a major earthquake became louder in the year 2011 in which 11 persons had died in Nepal alone. This was an earthquake of a magnitude of 6.9 and when everyone felt that the 80 year syndrome had occurred, many elders believed that this was not the one which was due.
Has the myth been proven right?
It appears as though the myth of the people of Nepal has been proven right with the earthquake rocking the country today. The one to occur today was a big one and it is considered to be the biggest one since 1934 in which almost 12,000 people lost their life.
That earthquake was known as the Bihar-Nepal earthquake in which around 7000 people in India too had lost their life.
The people of Nepal had been extremely worried and they had hoped that their myth did not turn into a reality. The 2011 earthquake according to them was by no standard was what they had witnessed in 1934. Today many may believe in Nepal that the myth has come true?
Is there is a science behind it?
According to science, the earthquake of 1934 was caused by movements within the tectonic plates. The tectonic plates was the reason for giving rise to the Himalayas, the worlds tallest mountain range. According to a study by the Geological Survey US, the Indian plate pushes upwards into the Eurasian plate and this is the reason for the Himalayas raising by one centimeter every year.
This build up is what cause excess pressure and it is once in several decades that the pressure is relieved through earthquakes, science would show.
Nepal is situated on the Alpine Himalayan belt where the Indian and the Eurasian plates meet. The activity, which occurs causing a centimeter growth of Himalayas is prone to stress and the release of the same is through earthquakes. Hence, it is very active seismically.
Why 2015 can be worse than 1934:
In terms of damage, the loss in the year 2015 could be easily more than what the country witnessed in the year 1934. This is due to extensive urbanization and also the population has risen almost ten fold since 1934. Several warnings have been issued by experts stating that the buildings are poorly built and do not prescribe to the safety standards.
It has also been pointed out that the emergency relief machinery is found wanting on several ocassions. Earthquake experts often visit Nepal to make the people and the administration understand that the country is extremely prone to earthquakes.
While it is too early to state how the Nepal administration handles the situation today, time will tell if they were ready to face this popular myth of Nepal which is backed by sciences.