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While the height of the world's tallest mountain has gone down, places like Kathmandu now find themselves a full metre higher than before.

Mount Everest shrinks after devastating quake. Find out why.

Sunday, May 3, 2015, 5:41 PM - The powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the Asian nation of Nepal did more than just damage and destroy the country. The tremor is also responsible for relatively major topographical changes in the region.

Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, is a little closer to losing its title. Data from Europe's Sentinel-1A radar suggests that the famous mountain is about 3 centimetres shorter, product of the strong quake. The fault between the Indian and the Eurasian tectonic plates was responsible for the devastation in Nepal but also led to a relaxation of the planet's crust.

Roger Bilham, in a conversation with Huffington Post, said the process is similar to relaxing an eraser that had been squeezed. "Let it go and it shrinks back to its original shape.


Not the only change

While Everest lost some of the height that has made it famous, Nepal's capital Kathmandu was lifted by a metre.

The changes made by the faults offer scientists valuable data for when they look at the faults' future activity

"We want to know which parts of the fault slipped," said Professor Tim Wright, from the UK's Nerc Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics. "And that's important because it tells us those parts that did not and which are still primed and ready to go in a future earthquake."

Scientists can use this information to narrow down the period in which a major earthquake could occur.

Early calculations suggest that [Nepal's earthquake] is probably not big enough to rupture all the way to the surface," Laurent Bollinger, a researcher-engineer at France's CEA agency, told the BBC. "So there is still likely to be more strain stored and we should probably expect another big earthquake to the west and south of this one in the coming decades."

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Source: Huffington Post | BBC

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