Aftershocks are uncertain: Don Prince

Aftershocks are uncertain. They may continue for weeks, months and sometimes years according to the earthquake size. The larger the earthquake, the longer the aftershocks.

May 30, 2015, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 08 No. -22 May 22- 2015 (Jestha 08, 2072)

When Will Aftershocks Stop In Nepal?

After being struck physically and psychologically with 20,000 aftershocks in the last month, people are recovering slowly in Nepal. Though they still count aftershocks, finally they assume aftershocks easy as much as they can take it. Now all of them have got a same question on mind, ‘’When will aftershocks stop in Nepal?’’ But no one has given the answer. Regarding this question even Google is silent. So I have decided to fill this gap.

In my previous article, I explained why you should not worry about large earthquake. In the second, I told there may not be any chance for another stronger aftershock. In this article I will tell you why you can take these small aftershocks easy. Besides, I am trying my best to satisfy your query ‘When are these aftershocks going to stop?’

What are aftershocks?

Everyone knows what aftershocks are. However for refreshment and formality let me define it again. After large earthquake, the tectonic plates which collide together to cause initial earthquake continue to readjust the stress along the fault, that results aftershocks.

Aftershocks frequencies have increased in the recent days. Are we going to face another stronger aftershock?

If large aftershock is going to rock, aftershocks will be building. If they are decaying, the aftershocks are doing final clean up to stop adjusting the plates. Nowadays the frequencies of the aftershocks have increased again. So people are fearful of the larger tremor. But you should not worry because they are small. Small aftershocks occur more frequently than the large ones. They are not building. If aftershocks had built up, their magnitude would have grown up significantly.

Why are the aftershocks of Nepal so longer?

The earthquake sequence of Nepal was following the Omori’s law in the beginning. They were declining exponentially and were going to be ended very soon. But it seems that the second large tremor of 12 May has started its own sequence of aftershocks which has made the periods of aftershocks longer.

When will these aftershocks stop?

Aftershocks are uncertain. They may continue for weeks, months and sometimes years according to the earthquake size. The larger the earthquake, the longer the aftershocks. The declining aftershocks are inversely proportional to the amount of time passed since the mainshock. It ends when it reaches to the pre earthquake level. So we should not think when aftershocks will stop. We should think when they will decline up to the pre earthquake level. Because when they are notably less, they are similar to stop. After all scientists are still debating whether aftershocks are different from earthquake or not. So the question should be ‘’When will the aftershocks go to the pre earthquake level?’’ It should not be ‘When will aftershocks stop?’ or something like that.

When will these aftershocks go to the pre earthquake level?

But when will these aftershocks go to the pre earthquake level? As these aftershocks are aftershocks of the aftershocks, they are expected to reach the pre earthquake level very soon.

Aftershocks can be predicted statistically not accurately. Statistic can’t predict exact time, space and magnitude. So statistic analysis can’t calculate when aftershocks will stop. However I have tried to estimate for how long these aftershocks will survive. But it is my rough estimation.

I have seen the span of these aftershocks in 3 perspectives:

According to Historical Pattern

If we need to find out the similar earthquake to estimate aftershocks time of Nepal, 2010 Haiti Earthquake is recommendable. Unlike Nepal, Haiti Earthquake was also shallow type with the depth of 13 km. The magnitude was 7 M. Accordingly we can estimate that the aftershocks of Nepal will decline tremendously after a few days.

According to United States Geological Survey

USGS expects only 6 aftershocks for this month. For the year it predicts 15 aftershocks. According to this analysis we can guess that aftershocks will be too rare to notice after 1week.

According to My Own Law

I have made a small attempt to develop a new statistic which says that the aftershocks of Nepal are decaying and it will be occasional after 2 weeks.

My law is still under observation. Till now, this  is my personal understanding which I am using to relieve myself {as I am also one of the Nepalese suffering from this situation} and I am sharing it with you only to provide a hope.

You also may have researched when aftershocks will stop in Nepal. Either you must have your own idea. You can share it with us by writing your opinions in the comment section below.

{Disclaimer: This post has been created to give relief to the people of Nepal who are fearful to the earthquake. It does not guarantee that there won’t be another large earthquake or strong aftershock in Nepal.  Common people and the concerned authorities should be cautious towards the earthquake and its aftershocks.}

This article is a part of Earthquake Relief Articles series. Please share it through social media and word of mouth with as many people as you can so that everyone can get relief from the fear of earthquake

Source National Discover Channel Visit



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