Nepal-India border Nepal 1988 (CAR)
On Sunday 21st August 1988, at 04:39 local time, an earthquake of moment magnitude 6.8 and focal depth of 57 km struck the eastern part of Nepal and Bihar State in India.
The main shock’s epicentre (26.76°N, 86.62°E) was near the town of Udayapur in Nepal’s Sagarmatha zone.
In the USGS EXPO-CAT database it is estimated that during this earthquake 4,297,000 people were exposed to intensity VII or higher, of which around 95% were in rural areas.
Most affected were the three eastern zones of Nepal (Sagarmatha, Koshi and Mechi) and Bihar State’s Darbhanga, Madhubani and Saharsa districts, but the damage zone for the predominant in the region one and two storey brick masonry buildings extended for a radius of around 150 km from the epicentre with damage reported in the Kathmandu Valley, Munger district of Bihar as well as further away in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal and in Gangtok (Sikkim).
As the event occurred in the middle of the night, human casualties reached 1004 deaths (of which 722 in Nepal) and 11,095 injured (of which 66% occurred in Nepal).
Tall buildings and civil engineering structures suffered little damage even in the epicentral region. The extensive nature of the damage zone to housing was also due to the geological and topographical conditions prevailing in the Gangetic alluvial plain and the steep hills of the Eastern Himalaya range, that dominate the geography of the affected region.
The worst affected area was Dharan city (population 118,000) in the Sunsari district of Koshi zone, Nepal, where 122 people were killed. This city is situated right on the border between the hill area and the alluvial plain with an elevation of 300 to 560 metres. In Dharan city centre, there were 63 deaths and 107 collapsed buildings, of which 84 were two or three storeyed brick masonry buildings.
In total more than 78,000 dwelling units were destroyed or damaged beyond repair (32% of these in India), living an estimated 460,000 people homeless in Nepal.
The total cost of the earthquake was estimated at about 242 million US$, of which 70 million US$ in India.
7329 in Nepal & 3766 in India.
More than 16000 injured in Nepal & India is also often quoted (e.g. Wikipedia).
717 in eastern Nepal & 282 in Bihar (India) incl. detailed breakdown by district.
The often reported figures of 1465 or 1450 deaths in this event cannot be corroborated.
In Nepal: 66,382 buildings collapsed or seriously damaged. Murakami et al. (1990) report 53,212 destroyed private houses.
More than 2000 school buildings were ruined beyond repair.
Fujiwara et al. (1989) report 1671 destroyed public buildings only in Dharan Bazaar town.
In India, Fujiwara et al. (1989) report 25,093 destroyed private houses.
128,281 damaged houses in Bihar State (India)
51,102 damaged houses in Nepal.
Many thousands more damaged private and (or) public ownership non-residential buildings, e.g. only in Dharan Bazaar town (Nepal) there were 2604 damaged publicly onwed buildings.
In Nepal there were around 4000 damaged school buildings (excl. the 2000 school buildings that were destroyed).
53212 in Nepal (from Murakami) & 25093 in India (from Fujiwara).
Excl. the destroyed dwellings.
In Nepal 51,102 (from Murakami) & 128241 in India (deducting 25093 destroyed reported by Fujiwara from the total of 157,334 reported by Murakami).
An estimated 460,000 people were without shelter in Nepal. Considering there were circa 78,000 destroyed dwellings in Nepal and India, the number of people whose homes would need to be rebuilt would be expected to be greater than 390,000 (assuming 5 persons per dwelling).
Nepal: 78 million US$ (houses); 62 million US$ (roads & bridges) & 32 million US$ (schools). Total=172 million US$.
India: 70 million US$.