By: Shubham Ghosh
A leading weather scientist and geological expert has warned that the Indian tectonic plate is moving about 5 centimetres (cm) every year, leading to accumulation of stress along the Himalayas and increasing the possibility of major seismic events — earthquakes — in the coming days.
Speaking to Asian News International on Tuesday (21), Dr N Purnachandra Rao, the chief scientist and seismologist at the Hyderabad-based National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), said, “The Earth’s surface comprises various plates that are constantly in motion. The Indian plate is moving about 5 cm every year, resulting in the accumulation of stress along the Himalayas and raising the possibility of major earthquakes.”
“We have a strong network of 18 seismograph stations in Uttarakhand. 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 any time,” the chief scientist added.
An earthquake of magnitude 3.6 occurred 56 kilometres north of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, at 10.38 pm on Monday (20), the National Centre for Seismology stated.
The epicentre was at a depth of 10 kms beneath the earth’s surface, the agency said.
“An earthquake of magnitude 3.6 occurred 56km north of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh at around 10:38 pm, yesterday. The depth of the earthquake was 10 km below the ground,” the NCS said in a statement.
On February 19, an earthquake struck the town of Nandigama in Andhra Pradesh’s NTR district. No loss of lives was reported in the incident.