China says Nepal quake moved Everest southwest

China says Nepal quake moved Everest southwest

The report said Everest had moved 40 centimetres to the northeast over the past decade at a speed of four centimetres a year, and risen three centimetres over the same period.



By (AFP)

Published: Tue 16 Jun 2015, 2:43 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:58 PM

Nepalese Sherpas rest as they climb Mount Everest. AP file photo

Nepalese Sherpas rest as they climb Mount Everest. AP file photo

Beijing — A devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in April moved Mount Everest three centimetres (just over an inch) to the southwest, but did not change its height, according to Chinese research published on Tuesday.

The 7.8-magnitude quake reversed the gradual northeasterly course of the world’s highest peak, which straddles Nepal and China, the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation found.

But its height — usually given as 8,848 metres (29,029 feet) — was unchanged by the disaster, according to the research, published in Chinese state media.

The report said Everest had moved 40 centimetres to the northeast over the past decade at a speed of four centimetres a year, and risen three centimetres over the same period.

Nepal rests on a major fault line between two tectonic plates — one bearing India pushing northward into a plate carrying Europe and Asia at a rate of about two centimetres (three quarters of an inch) per year — the process that created the Himalayas.

Roger Bilham, professor of geological science at the University of Colorado, agreed with the Chinese findings.

But he said the focus should not be on Everest, calling the peak “a lump of uneroded rock that just happens to have survived a little bit higher than all the other rocks in the Himalaya”.

Nepal’s government said it had not yet studied the impact on Everest but that quake-affected areas had moved south.


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