Nepal earthquake 'moved Everest 3cm south-west'
THE devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in April moved Mount Everest 3cm to the south-west, but did not change its height, according to Chinese research published yesterday.
The 7.8-magnitude quake reversed the gradual north-easterly course of the world's highest peak, which straddles Nepal and China, the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation found.
But its height - usually given as 8,848m - was unchanged by the disaster, according to the research, published in the Chinese state media.
The report said Everest had moved 40cm to the north-east over the past decade at a speed of 4cm a year, and risen 3cm over the same period.
Nepal rests on a major fault line between two tectonic plates, with the one bearing India pushing northwards into a plate carrying Europe and Asia at a rate of about 2cm per year - the process that created the Himalayas.
Roger Bilham, professor of geological science at the University of Colorado, agreed with the Chinese findings.
But he said the focus should not be on Everest, calling the peak "a lump of uneroded rock that just happens to have survived a little bit higher than all the other rocks in the Himalayas".
More than 8,700 people were killed in the April 25 quake and a major aftershock on May 12, which also triggered landslides and destroyed half a million homes, leaving thousands without shelter.