Tibet Foundation

Earthquake 12 May 2015

May 12, 2015

A further earthquake strikes, in the Friendship Highway region

A further earthquake of magnitude 7.3 and a series of aftershocks today struck northern Nepal, 20 kilometres south-east of Kodari, the border town on the Friendship Highway between Tibet and Nepal. This follows the 7.9 magnitude earthquake which struck on the 25 April, causing widespread destruction and over 8000 fatalities. 

Today's earthquake is closer to inhabited Tibetan areas inside the TAR, but Chinese reports thus far list just one fatality in Nyalam County. The Friendship Highway - an audacious mountain road linking Lhasa and Kathmandu - has been one of the two critical overland links used to move aid and relief supplies into Nepal since the 25. April earthquake. The steep valleys on the Nepalese side are likely to have suffered serious damage, and will limit the ability to move supplies in to the country. 

Phuntsog was in Kalimpong in Sikkim (approx 400 km to the East) when today's earthquake occurred, and reported feeling the buildings shake for 5-6 seconds, but no serious structural damage there. Early reports from Kathmandu suggest it was strongly felt but damage has been limited. 

12 May also marks the 7th anniversary of the Wenchen Earthquake in Sichuan, on the eastern edge of Tibet. In subsqeuent years, 12 May has been known as "National Disaster Prevention and Reduction day" in China, and drills held in schools and workplaces across the country. 

We will post more news as it becomes available.