1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake
|UTC time||1934-01-15 08:43:25|
|Local date||15 January 1934|
|Local time||2:28 PM NST|
|Depth||15 km (9.3 mi)|
|Areas affected||India, Nepal|
|Max. intensity||XI (Extreme)|
The 1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake or 1934 Bihar–Nepal earthquake, locally known as nepal sambat 1049 ya bhukhaay (Newar), 90 saal ko bhukampa (Nepali), was one of the worst earthquakes in the history of Nepal and Bihar, India. This 8.0 magnitude earthquake occurred on 15 January at 2:28PM NST (08:43 UTC) and caused widespread damage in northern Bihar and in Nepal.
The epicentre for this event was located in eastern Nepal about 9.5 km (5.9 mi) south of Mount Everest. The areas where the most damage to life and property occurred extended from Purnea in the east to Champaran in the west (a distance of nearly 320 km (200 mi)), and from Kathmandu in the north to Munger in the south (a distance of nearly 465 km (289 mi)). The impact was reported to be felt in Lhasa to Bombay, and from Assam to Punjab. The earthquake was so severe that in Kolkata, around 650 km (404 mi) from epicenter, many buildings were damaged and the tower of St. Paul's Cathedral collapsed.
One noteworthy phenomenon of this earthquake was that sand and water vents appeared throughout the central vents of the earthquake area. The ground around these sand fissures subsided, causing more damage. Extensive liquefaction of the ground took place over a length of 300 km (called the slump belt) during the earthquake, in which many structures went afloat.
In Muzaffarpur, sand fissures erupted at several places in town. The wells were choked with sand, while water levels in tanks became shallower due to sand deposited in the tank beds. Most of the buildings in Muzzafarpur were damaged. All the kutcha (ramshackle) buildings collapsed, while other pukka (solidly built) buildings suffered damage due to sinking and cracking of the ground.
The three major towns of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal—Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan—were severely affected and almost all the buildings collapsed. Large cracks appeared in the ground and several roads were damaged in Kathmandu; however, the temple of Pashupatinath, the guardian deity of Nepal, escaped any damage.
In Sitamarhi, not a single house was left standing. In Bhagalpur district also many buildings collapsed. In Patna, only one castle remained standing, with the rest of the city being turned to rubble. In Rajnagar, near Madhubani, all the Kutcha buildings collapsed. The buildings of Darbhanga Raj, including the famous Naulakha Palace, were severely damaged. In Jharia the earthquake led to further spread of underground fire. The town of Birgunj was destroyed, along with its telephone line to Kathmandu.
A 1935 work by Major General Brahma Shamsher documenting the event, Nepalko Maha Bhukampa 1990, stated that this was Nepal's most destructive earthquake in living memory, and praised the Nepalese Army for its work in relief efforts.
Mahatma Gandhi (father of India) visited the Bihar state. He wrote that the Bihar earthquake was providential retribution for India's failure to eradicate untouchability. In Bihar, Sri Babu (Shri Krishna Sinha) and the  other great leader Anugrah Babu (Anugrah Narayan Sinha), threw themselves into relief work.
- 1988 Nepal earthquake
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- List of earthquakes in 1934
- List of earthquakes in India
- ISC (2015), ISC-GEM Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue (1900–2009), Version 2.0, International Seismological Centre
- Gunn, Angus Macleod (30 December 2007). "Bihar, India, earthquake". Encyclopedia of Disasters: Environmental Catastrophes and Human Tragedies. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 337–339. ISBN 978-0-313-08747-9.
- "Significant earthquake". National Geophysical Data Center. Archived from the original on 16 December 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- Nasu, Nobuji (20 March 1935). "The Great Indian Earthquake of 1934" (PDF). Earthquake Research Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 May 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
- Murty, C.V.R.; Malik, Javed N. "Challenges of Low-to-Moderate Seismicity in India" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
- Brett, William Bailie (1935). A Report on the Bihar Earthquake and on the Measures Taken in Consequence Thereof Up to the 31st December 1934. Superintendent, Government Print. Available at The South Asia Archive
- Amin, Shahid; Linden, Marcel van der (13 May 1997). Peripheral Labour: Studies in the History of Partial Proletarianization. Cambridge University Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-521-58900-0. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- Dr. Bipin Adhikari. The Great Earthquake of 1934 Archived 29 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine. NewSpotLight Nepal News Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 22, 22 May 2015. Accessed 29 May 2015.
- U.S. Geological Survey. "Historic Earthquakes – Bihar, India – Nepal". U.S. Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on 29 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- Rāṇā, Brahmaśamśera Jaṅgabahādūra, and Kesar Lall. The Great Earthquake in Nepal (1934 A.D.). 1st English edition. Kathmandu: Ratna Pustak Bhandar, 2013. ISBN 9789937330152
- Chakrabarty, Bidyut (2006). Social and Political Thought of Mahatma Gandhi. Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought. Taylor & Francis. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-415-36096-8.
- Ramaswami Venkataraman; India. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Publications Division (1990). So may India be great: selected speeches and writings of President R. Venkataraman. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India.
- Singh, D. D.; Gupta, H. K. (1979), "Source dynamics of two great earthquakes of the Indian subcontinent: The Bihar-Nepal earthquake of January 15, 1934, and the Quetta earthquake of May 30, 1935", Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Seismological Society of America, 70 (3): 757–773
- 1934 Mw 8.1 Bihar/Nepal earthquake 15 January 1934 – Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
- Intensity Map (Archived) – Amateur Seismic Centre
- The International Seismological Centre has a bibliography and/or authoritative data for this event.