Barely 2 weeks since the devastating magnitude 7.8 quake that shook Nepal, a second major earthquake has afflicted the region. It occured on May 12th at 12:35 pm local time, measuring in at magnitude 7.3. Its epicenter was further east than that of the original quake, although it did occur on the same fault line beneath the Himalayas near Mt. Everest.
The highest damage by far was centered in northeastern Nepal. Mass panic and hysteria descended upon the already weary individuals of Kathmandu, and BBC has reported at least 48 confirmed casualties. The aftershock caused fresh landslides and destroyed damaged buildings that survived the original quake, causing even more survivors to retreat to outdoor tents for fear of being trapped under collapsing rubble.
Although the effects of this aftershock were seen most heavily in northeastern Nepal, the tremors were strong enough to be felt as far as New Delhi, over 1000 km away from the epicenter. CNN reported at least 17 deaths have been confirmed in India due to the 7.3 magnitude quake. Buildings rattled and office workers were evacuated, with the Delhi Metro having to be temporarily shut down to accommodate for the chaos.
Certain regions of China also felt the shaking, with 1 woman being killed in Tibet after a dislodged boulder struck her vehicle.
Unfortunately, the outlook for rest from earthquakes in the near future is grim. Geophysicist Amy Vaughan told CNN that she speculates the May 12th quake is a harbinger of additional aftershocks. “Generally in the days, and weeks, and months, seismic activity tapers off. But this is going to temporarily increase the aftershocks.”