Factors that made the Nepal earthquake such a devastating event

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At 7.8 on the Richter scale, this was a powerful quake – and its source was only 11km below ground

Robin McKie
Science Editor

Several factors combined to make Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal such a devastating event. The first was its basic magnitude. At 7.8 on the Richter scale, this was one of the most powerful earthquakes to strike the region in the past 80 years. In addition, it was a shallow event with a source that was only 11km below ground.

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