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Northeast may witness more tremors

india Updated: Aug 19, 2006 01:13 IST
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THE SHIFT in the earth’s movement pattern bodes ill for the country. The changing movement might result in more tremors in India’s northeast.

Earth scientists have found through the Global Positioning System (GPS) that the phenomenon of the Indian sub-continent moving towards north, derived from palio-magnetic evidences, was changing. Now, the Indian sub-continent was northeast bound. Scientists said the change was evident in the recent low magnitude tremors in that region.

Assam has a history of major earthquakes hitting it every 50 years. It was in 1951 that a major quake shook Assam. Now, scientists predict that a quake of high magnitude would hit the State in another five years. They also fear that the tremor would be high on the Richter scale and shatter all past records. The possibility of a high intensity quake hitting Assam was due to the change in the earth’s movement, they opined.

“India is moving in the northeastern direction at a rate of 5 mm per year. This phenomena was noticed after scientists placed GPS antennae at New Delhi, Bangalore, Dehradun and Leh to study the movement of the earth over the last three years,” Dr Trilochan Singh, scientist in-charge of the northeast unit at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (Arunachal Pradesh), said.

“India initially moved towards the Himalayas. This had caused quakes in north India and some weak portions of the south. But the latest GPS findings – which is capable of reading a deviation of 1 mm per 1000 kilometer – made us conclude that the earth was northeast bound,” Dr Singh added.

The GPS antennae in Bangalore, New Delhi and Dehradun had even signaled that the distances between Bangalore and New Delhi and Bangalore and Dehradun were shortening.

This was indicative that a change in earth’s movement might result in shortening of distances between some of the cities by few meters over the next 10 years.
Dr Singh was one of the geologists that went on the Gondwana Land (GL) expedition in June. The team covered Iran, Turkey, Syria, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia and India as part of their month-long tour.

The team studied geological reasons that led to the behind the separation of Antarctica, Australia, Africa, America and India. These continents, collectively called GL, were one some 290 million years ago.

The team also studied the reasons that caused earthquakes in these regions and the intensity of future tremors. Dr Singh shared expedition experiences with city geologists at the Geological Survey of India and Department of Geology at LU. Dr Singh would soon brief President APJ Abdul Kalam about the seismic situation on the Indian continent, specifically the northeastern phenomena.