Madhav Raj Pandey
Department of Mines and Geology
Lainchaur, Kathmandu, Nepal
Laboratoire De Geophysique, Paris
On 20th August 1988, a major earthquake of 6.6 magnitude (USGS) occurred in the foot-hill of the Central Himalaya of Nepal near the town of Gaighat. The historic seismicity of this region is not well known and since 1900 only seven events are reported by the International Seismological Centre (ISC). For the same period the western Nepal is shaken up by 214 earthquakes (Ms max. = 7.5). The Indian Himalayan Plate Boundary presents a mean to large superficial seismicity where thrust faulting are predominant. The recent earthquake occurred very near to the reported epicenter of Bihar-Nepal Great Earthquake of 1934 (ISC : Ms = 8.3). However, the location of this main event has been a subject of many discussions with respect to the reported variations of intensity within the territory of Nepal and northern India. A location northward in the Lower Himalaya is possible (Pandey and Molnar, 1988). The 20th August 1988 Earthquake is, therefore, the first great event happened in this area.