Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Nepal Earthquake- MAN-MADE event?

When the Nepal earthquake occurred, did you ever think for a second that this could be a man-made event? People living in remote, mountain valley villages in Nepal, where nearby blasting is done for mining, newly-proposed railway / roads, dam construction, and other activities are the first to suffer from man-made landslides resulting from blasting. This has already been studied in Landslides caused by blasting by A. Dvořák and other studies. As an example, on August 2, 2014, "Nepalese workers carried out explosions to clear the debris and break open the dam which has created a large 110-metre (360-feet) deep lake in the river" [Source]. Blasting and landslides--it's a genuine correlation to make, and we are still not fully aware of how blasting affects the rock strata and soil beneath, weakening slopes over time until they finally give in.

The first quake that shook Nepal
The second large quake that shook Nepal
This brings us to the question: what kind of man-made events can cause earthquakes? For now, we will leave aside advanced military weaponry and nuclear explosives. CNBC tells us, "With the evidence coming in from one study after another, scientists are now more certain than ever that oil and gas drilling is causing hundreds upon hundreds of earthquakes across the U.S." That should also leave us wondering, blast after blast, could these man-made explosions destabilize areas along fault lines? Perhaps it depends on how many tons of explosives are being used? Keeping this in mind, here are some odd coincidences regarding Nepal's recent earthquakes:
In a meeting between Chinese and Nepalese officials on 25 April 2008, the Chinese delegation announced the intention to extend the Qingzang railway to Zhangmu (Nepali: Khasa) on the Nepalese border. Nepal had requested that the railway be extended to enable trade and tourism between the two nations. On the occasion of the Nepali premier's visit to China it was reported that construction will be completed by 2020. The section Lhasa-Shigatse opened in August 2014. Here's a map of the proposed railway: 

According to KhaleejTimes, April 10, 2015, reported just two weeks before the earthquake struck:
Wang Mengshu, a rail expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that engineers would face a number of difficulties once the project begins. Such a plan could see a tunnel being built under Mount Everest, the China Daily said. Besides Nepal, China had earlier announced plans to extend its Tibetan rail network to Bhutan and India.
Wiki reports that:
The railway passes the Kunlun Mountains, an earthquake zone. A magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck in 2001. Dozens of earthquake monitors have been installed along the railway.
Now, the first major earthquake struck Nepal April 26, 2015 UTC, measuring a 6.7 magnitude according to EarthquakeTrack. Its epicentre was found to have the coordinates 27.782°N, 85.997°E (beside Gathi and Kuri Village), near precisely the area where the railway tunnel will be built. Prior to this railway being constructed and the deadly earthquake, can you imagine how much explosives or drilling that was being used to tunnel underneath those mountains that lie near the fault line? Could this be what caused a chunk of rock about 9 miles below the earth’s surface to shift, unleashing a shock wave that ripped through the Katmandu Valley?

The proposed Railway Tunnel happens to be near where the earthquake took place. Coincidence? 

The last major earthquake occurred in Nepal 81 years ago in 1934? However, this earthquake's epicentre was over 100 km south east (26.86°N 86.59°E) of Nepal's recent one. Using a Google Search for "Nepal Tunnel Blasting", let's take a look at what else was going on in Nepal prior to this massive earthquake:

Nepal Energy Forum reports on Feb 15, 2015:
Fifty-four North Koreans are currently working illegally in Nepal, helping with blasting work on a tunnel for a hydroelectric power plant, according to Nepalese media. The article adds that the North Koreans are working under difficult conditions with few safety measures in place. The new hydroelectric plant is being constructed in Nepal’s Sindhupalchok region where 150 people were killed last year during a landslide.
Note that the Sindhupalchok region is merely just over 20 km north west of the earthquake epicentre reported on April 26, 2015. Read more about the plans for World Bank funded dams in Nepal here. Is it a coincidence that this earthquake struck near the construction of a dam site? According to a news source, we are told:
China is mounting an arduous mission today to rescue 250 workers who are trapped at a hydropower station (Rasuwagadhi hydropower dam), currently under construction near the epicenter of the earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, according to Xinhua, the China Central Government news agency.
Coincidence? Rasuwagadhi hydropower dam station just happens to be under construction, near the epicentre of the earthquake
We have found the location of this dam site to be just over 60 km away from the earthquake epicentre, near Gathi. Not too far off also lies the Kharidhunga mine around 10 km south, one of the world's largest magnesium deposits, in which drilling and blasting is conducted.

There is also a government report which speaks about the over-mining of minerals in the Gaurishankar Conservation Area, which is at the epicentre of the earthquake. It outlines the importance of "stopping mining of stone, gravel and sand from rivers, streams and other areas." Police closed an illegal stone mine in Chapagaun, Kathmandu Valley, which was allegedly under the political protection of Local Development Minister, back in 2011.

In another report, regarding ground-water drilling:
In Kathmandu valley, around 700 million litres of ground water is extracted daily illegally. There are more than 500 drinking water supply companies involved in groundwater extraction and their activities are left unchecked by the authorities. 
On a different note, regarding nuclear testing, one report tells us:
Forty-five years ago, a joint Indo-US espionage mission lost five kilograms of plutonium in the Himalayas. It is still missing but the government of India has decided to ignore the ongoing threat. 
This leaves us wondering: was the Nepal earthquake a natural event, or a man-made event? If you have any more information with regards to drilling / blasting activities done around the epicentre of this earthquake, feel free to comment.


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