‘Possibility of greater quake in Uttarakhand,’ warns NGRI chief scientist

By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
Feb 22, 2023 09:34 AM IST

NGRI chief scientist Dr N Purnachandra Rao said, “The region referred to as the seismic gap between Himachal and the western part of Nepal including Uttarakhand is prone to earthquakes that might occur at any time.”

Hyderabad-based National Geophysical Research Institute’s (NGRI) chief scientist Dr N Purnachandra Rao on Tuesday warned against a possibility of an earthquake of high magnitude in Uttarakhand in the near future. Stating the reason behind his prediction, Rao said the movement of the Indian plate - about five cm per year - is leading to the accumulation of stress along the Himalayas which could result in an earthquake.

Damaged vehicles seen parked in front of a collapsed building following the devastating earthquake in Turkey.(AP/ Representational image)
Damaged vehicles seen parked in front of a collapsed building following the devastating earthquake in Turkey.(AP/ Representational image)

“Earth’s surface comprises various plates that are constantly in motion. The Indian plate is moving about 5 cm per year, leading to accumulation of stress along the Himalayas increasing the possibility of a greater earthquake,” said Dr N Purnachandra Rao, a chief scientist at NGRI, to news agency ANI.

Also Read: Why earthquakes happen, and how to measure them

He said, “The region referred to as the seismic gap between Himachal and the western part of Nepal including Uttarakhand is prone to earthquakes that might occur at any time.” He also noted that Uttarakhand is equipped with a strong network of 18 seismograph stations to monitor ground motions.

Also Read: Turkey ends earthquake rescue operations except in two provinces

The recent massive 7.8-magnitude Turkey, Syria earthquake which killed almost 45,000 people in one of the deadliest disasters this century, has shocked the world and raised concerns about international preparedness on risk management during such disasters, research and development funds, knowledge gaps among other things.

While Turkey’s Anatolian plate- being of the most active seismic zones - makes it among the most earthquake-prone countries, as per National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the entire Himalayan belt is also considered prone to great earthquakes of magnitude exceeding 8.0 with as much as 59% of India’s land mass is prone to earthquakes of different intensities.

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    Trainee Content Producer for Hindustan Times Digital Streams. I read about feminism, late modern history, and globalisation of Korean music.

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