ABSTRACT

Recent Himalayan earthquakes have ruptured only the down‐dip part of the underthrusting fault plane, bringing the respective up‐dip sections closer to failure by transferring stress. We estimate the losses likely when the complementary up‐dip sections also fail following the 1947 M 7.9 Subansiri and the 1905 M 7.8 Kangra down‐dip ruptures. We estimate that the population strongly affected (intensities VI) may number 12 million and 33 million in the 1947 and the 1905 up‐dip segments, respectively. The number of fatalities is estimated to be about 100,000 and 200,000 in the 1947 and 1905 up‐dip segments, respectively, with an estimated three times as many injured. We assess the uncertainties of these values to be factors of 4, unless larger earthquakes, including neighboring segments are involved, in which case the casualties would be significantly larger.

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