Experts warn of a major tremor near Delhi after 64 quakes rock region #earthquake #QuakeSwarm #Delhi #India
INDIA’S national capital region (NCR) needs to brace for a major earthquake, geologists have warned after analysing seismic activity spanning two years.
A geologist at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Dhanbad predicts a big earthquake could hit Delhi and the surrounding regions in the near future. The national capital region (NCR) has been struck by 64 minor earthquakes in the last two years. More recently, low-intensity tremors have been hitting every few days, including a magnitude 2.1 quake on Monday, June 8, and a magnitude 1.3 quake on June 7.
Experts have now warned recurring tremors could be an indicator of a larger event brewing under the NCR.
Professor Prosanta Khuma Khan of IIT, Dhanbad said: “Recurrent tremors of small magnitudes indicate a bigger earthquake.”
The expert believes local authorities need to raise awareness of the threat and take preventative measures.
The news comes after a study of seismicity in the NCR found a magnitude 6 earthquake could completely devastate the region.
Professor Khan said: “The entire region experienced 64 tremors with magnitudes ranging between 4.0 and 4.9 and eight with magnitudes 5.0 and above over the last two years, which shows an increase in the accumulation of strain energy in the region, particularly near Delhi and Kangra.”
Of the 64 earthquakes studied, 11 erupted in the last two months.
One of the earthquakes struck near Noida on June 3, reaching magnitude 3.2.
Khan added: “NCR is just 370 km from Kangra and 260 km from Uttarkashi, which is known for severe earthquakes, and a bigger earthquake in this fault line is bound to affect NCR.”
In 1945 and 1905, the towns of Chamba and Dharamshala were struck by magnitude 6.3 and 7.8 earthquakes.
Garhwal near Uttarkashi also witnessed a magnitude 7.7 earthquake in 1803 and a magnitude 6.9 event in 1991.
However, geologists are unable to predict when an earthquake will strike and how powerful it will be.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), scientists can only predict the probability of a tremor in a specific area, within a certain number of years.
The USGS said: “Neither the USGS nor any other scientist has ever predicted a major earthquake.
“We do not know how, and we do not expect to know how in the foreseeable future.
“USGS scientists can only calculate the probability that a significant earthquake will occur in a specific area within a certain number of years.”
Professor Khan is, however, worried by seismic activity along the Delhi-Haridwar Ridge.
He said: “Since no prediction model for earthquakes is still available, the Earthquake Early Warning System (EEWS) designed in back-azimuth and slowness-based algorithm is much needed.”
According to a 1994 study published in Current Science, the Delhi-Haridwar Ridge plays an active role in causing seismicity in the Himalayan Belt.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority also said: “Seismicity around Delhi appears to be associated with a major geological strucutre, which is known as the Delhi-Haridwar Ridge.
“It coincides with the extension of the Aravali Mountain belt beneath the alluvial plains of the Ganga basin to the northeast of Delhi towards the Himalayan mountain.”
Courtesy of express.co.uk
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