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.

Photo Credit: USGS

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.
Discovered by Don Prince

{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.}

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Write Comments
  1. Can you please illustrate about the energy that has been released in this huge earthquake?According to the USGS geologists there is still chance of the huge one as only the 40% of the energy is released and 60% is still to be released?? I have gone through this links and its too scary to think about next huge quake. http://www.quora.com/Earthquakes/With-the-giant-7-9-earthquake-in-Nepal-followed-by-a-powerful-aftershock-the-energy-built-up-since-1934-must-have-dissipated-Was-this-the-great-Himalayan-earthquake-which-was-long-due-Or-could-there-be-a-bigger-one-in-the-near-future

  2. USGS has never said like that. You should ask for the original link of USGS if somebody claims. You had better read all 12 articles of May month in this blog. I think you won't have any curiosity after that. If you still think about any question, let me know again in this comment section.

    1. what about the links above.Can you explain me more?

    2. Thank you preksa for the interaction. I have not gone deeply through these links. But I checked them out. In my opinion, the first link is nothing more than a coffee talk and the second one is collection of words only to post an interesting blog.

      I don't think USGS has said like that. If there is such thing, then that must be long term prediction. I think the links above are also about long term risk of earthquake. 60% energy may refer to whole Nepal not a particular place. If it had been in particular place, then the government of Nepal would have evacuated the place as soon as possible.

    3. Well. That might be true too.As far as we know Kathmandu rosed by 1-2 meter and on this behalf people say it has to settle to the same position as before. How much is this true and what it takes to settle the ground level as before?

    4. It is true that Kathmandu rose. But whoever is saying that now it has to settle to the same position, is a very funny person. Let's ask a question to that person, "Mountains were formed due to earthquake, why did not they go in the previous position?''

  3. There's a Dutch guy using planet alignment theory for the cause of earthquake nowdays and spread rumors by creating video of California Quake.I don't think these alignment can cause any earthquake... can you provide your opinion on this topic.

    1. Mr. Umang, thanks for the conversation. To be frank, what causes earthquake is still a mystery in science. I don't believe on astrology. But some other planets may have relation with the earthquake. However, personally I don't believe on the guy's rumours. He was proven wrong yesterday because no earthquake rocked California.

  4. Don, I like it just like the last time, when I completely believed what you have written and this time also this sounds so good and so want to believe every bit of it. But, you know Don, when I was so relaxed after reading your post last time, next day there was stronger jolt. You are good but that made me confused !

  5. Sunita ji, you seem to be educated. However let me remind you again, my article does not guarantee whatever it says. I shared my opinion what I believed personally. Anyway thanks for your trust.

    I have already written in my another post http://www.nationaldiscoverychannel.com/2015/05/2-reasons-why-nepal-cant-expect-stronger-aftershock.html AND also in the post above that though frequencies decline, there may be chance of increment in the magnitude. However I have given my personal analysis that jolt more than 5.8 is unusual. So I am having a sound sleep nowadays.

    If we are near epicentre or the earthquake is swallow type or the construction where we are living is poor, then 5.8 M earthquake also can cause a harm. In the other hand, if earthquake occurred out of the rupture zone, then that may be more than 5.8 too, though there is too little chance.

    So in this situation, we can do only one thing, that is to be positive. Study more and more in instead of running towards rumour, listening everyone but trusting our own conscience and taking these aftershocks easily. We should not be doubtful, but we should also be ready with safety measures to protect ourselves, in case there is another big quake. But my knowledge says there is no chance of a big quake. And I want to repeat again I can't guarantee it.

    For your kind information, I am writing posts every day for every new situation of the earthquake from 2nd June. So keep on visiting. As well as if you got any new situation or new question, please let me know in the comment section. I will reply in comments or create a new post for everyone. Thank you for this opportunity to remind all readers.

  6. thanks don....should be be worried as today and yesterday the no of aftershocks have somewhat reduced as compared to previous days in terms of time interval....is this the worrying fact ??and as asked earlier is there relation between the weather condition(rain,thunder,lightning) and earthquake?

    1. As per my personal opinion, aftershocks are saying good bye. So they are occasional but a bit greater than before. I think there is no need to worry.

      Aristotle had first presented law to forecast earthquake according to weather. Some scientists are still promoting this concept. But official science does not believe on it. I am doing a little bit research on it. But I am quite sure current weather conditions {rain, thunder, lightning} have nothing to do with this earthquake. Earthquake can happen in any weather condition sunny, rainy, windy, etc. So better not to be doubtful at all. Thank you for the interaction.

  7. your article is nice but lacks scientific accuracy in most part. anyways good job