Three Earthquakes In One Night Rock The Tibetan Plateau
2020-03-16
The epicenter of the earthquake in Ngari on February 20
The epicenter of the earthquake in Ngari on February 20

 
Although no casualties were reported following the three earthquakes that shook the Tibetan plateau on Tuesday, March 10, the strong tremors were felt in Shiquanhe Town, more than 200 kilometers away from the epicenter in Gêrzê County of Ngari Prefecture. And this is not the first earthquake to be felt in this area of the Tibetan plateau in recent years. It is not even the first to be felt in the past ten days. In this part of Tibet, earthquakes are a common occurrence, as the geological structure is complex and the seismicity is very high. This has prompted a lot of research in Ngari, which aids in measuring the movement of the tectonic plates that first formed the Himalayas.
 
Location of Gêrzê County (red) within Ngari Prefecture (yellow) and the Tibet Autonomous Region
Location of Gêrzê County (red) within Ngari Prefecture (yellow) and the Tibet Autonomous Region
 
The tremors, which were centered around 10 kilometers underground in the area of Gêrzê County at 32°50'24.0"N 85°31'12.0"E, were in an area of the region that is mostly uninhabited, except for a few wild animals that roam the plains and a small local community. According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, the area was hit by three consecutive earthquakes in the space of just a few hours. The first of the three earthquakes were felt at around 2:12 am on Tuesday morning, and registered a 5.0 magnitude on the Richter scale, the globally-recognized measure for earthquakes.
 
The earthquakes were felt in Shiquanhe Town, more than 200 kilometers to the northwest
The earthquakes were felt in Shiquanhe Town, more than 200 kilometers to the northwest
 
Two further earthquakes hit the same spot before dawn came, reaching 3.7 magnitudes and 3.4 magnitudes respectively. Fortunately, no-one was injured in the tremors, and no buildings were damaged either. In fact, according to the director of the county's poverty relief office, Hu Haibo, most people were asleep and never even felt the tremors. A preliminary investigation into the triple-hit was conducted in the morning by the deputy head of the county's civil affairs bureau, Sonam Daje, who said that they will continue to monitor ground activity in the area.
 
Mount Kailash in Ngari Prefecture, 450km southwest of the earthquake epicenters
Mount Kailash in Ngari Prefecture, 450km southwest of the earthquake epicenters
 
Gêrzê County is the largest of the counties that rely heavily on animal husbandry in Ali Prefecture. And this is not the first time that Ngari has been hit by earthquakes recently, with the latest 5.0 plus earthquake prior to this being in February. The county was hit by a 5.0 magnitude earthquake on February 20, less than 200 kilometers south of last Tuesday’s events. And in the ten days prior to last Tuesday, the same area of Gêrzê was hit by six tremors ranging from 4.1 magnitudes to 4.8 magnitudes.
 
Epicenters of the most recent earthquakes in Gêrzê County
Epicenters of the most recent earthquakes in Gêrzê County between 4.1 and 4.8
 
Other earthquakes in Ali Prefecture have also been of similar strength in the past. On Saturday, August 4, 2018, a 5.2 magnitude earthquake was felt in Rutog County, also with a depth of around 10 kilometers at the epicenter. And Gêrzê County was also hit by a 5.3 magnitude earthquake in February 2011, which was measured at 7 kilometers deep at the epicenter.
Though such low magnitude earthquakes happened in the areas for few times, luckily there is no destruction in the building as well as there is no loss of life so far and we will try to keep on updating the latest news related to earthquake and travel information about Tibet Tours.
TAG: Tibetan earthquakes earthquakes in Ngari ngari earthquakes earthquakes in Tibet

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