In the wake of Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal, there have been at least a dozen aftershocks of magnitude 5 or higher and another two dozen between magnitude 4.5 and 5, NPR reported Monday.
The earthquake released stresses that had been building up for 150 years. Now there is a danger that the aftershocks could rupture faults adjacent to the one at the heart of Saturday’s quake. That could bring another devastating quake while the region is still scrambling to respond to the first.
There’s a 1 to 2 percent chance that an aftershock in the next couple years could be bigger than the original quake, according to NPR. There’s also a record of two large quakes in quick succession in the region, so a “twin quake” would not be unprecedented, according to Ross Stein, scientist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey.