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Researchers of Institute of Geology Completed the Task on “Evaluating Seismic Hazards for China-aid Turnkey Projects” in Nepal

2015/12/28 16:37:31

On April 25, 2015, a magnitude-8.1 earthquake struck the southern foot of the Himalaya and the territory of Nepal, resulting in mountain collapse, landslide and other geological hazards. At least 7,566 people were killed and more than 14,500 people injured in the event (China News, May 06). The turnkey projects that China aided to Nepal suffered damage to different extent. In order to clarify of the degree of damage of the existing aid projects by seismic hazards and the disaster mechanism, at the invitation of the Bureau of International Economic Cooperation Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce of China, our institute assigned researchers Yang Xiaoping, Li Chuanyou and Wu Guo to the scene of Nepalese earthquake. From June 5 to June 16, 2015, they carried out scientific examination on the seismic hazards and fault activity of the two engineering projects: Nepal Tatopani Border Checkpoint and Nepal National Police College as well as their neighboring areas, and put forth engineering measures against seismic hazards. Despite the heavy work on the two engineering projects and nearby areas, the study group managed to make preliminary study at a location of the main frontal thrust (MFT) in the Himalaya to southwest of Katmandu. They discovered the fault scarp on low river terrace and the fault outcrop in riverbed, and no surface rupture caused by Nepal “4.25” great earthquake was seen in this area. 

Figure 1 Upper left: Mountain slope failure northwest of the checkpoint. Upper right: Unique suspension bridge to the checkpoint

Lower left: Huge stone falling into the transit depot. Lower right: Crack on an ancient landslide southwest of the checkpoint

Figure 2 Upper left: Giving report on seismic hazards of Nepal-aided turnkey projects to Commercial Counsellor’s Office of Chinese Embassy in Nepal. Upper right: Fault scarp on MFT of Himalaya. Lower left bottom: Outcrop of active fault near Katmandu. Lower right: World historical and cultural heritage destroyed by the earthquake

The study group studied the seismic hazards and disaster mechanism of the sites of Tatopani Border Checkpoint and other turnkey projects as well as their neighboring areas, and proposed reasonable prevention and control measures. On the other hand, they preliminarily learned the natural, human and transport conditions of Nepal, and collected basic data for further investigation of seismology and small-scale seismic zonation. Chen Xiaoli of the Institute of Geology was responsible for domestic liaison and data acquisition and participated in the coordination of study task and compilation of evaluation reports.