Nepal + 1 more

8-member NGRI team leaves for Himalayas

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TNN | Apr 27, 2015, 04.46 AM IST

HYDERABAD: Not just Nepal, quakes will hit the sub-continent's four seismic zones more regularly owing to the movement of the Indian tectonic plate towards the Eurasian plate, said India's National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), which is deploying a team of scientists to the Himalayas for a detailed studies.

An eight-member team, armed with seismographs and surface-mapping equipment, will first travel along the Indo-Gangetic plains and carry out detailed analysis before going to Himalayas. "We need to study more as right now we can only predict the location of the earthquakes, but not the exact time," Dr Ch Mohan Rao, director, NGRI, told TOI.

He said Saturday's high-intensity quake was similar to the one that struck Latur in Maharashtra in 1993, which left over 9,000 people dead.

"Earthquakes in this region are quite expected now. We hope our group of scientists, who would be studying the characteristics of the earthquake and analyze it for future, will be able to get more answers," said Mohan Rao.

Rao said lack of a sub-terrain map is hindering scientists from predicting where the next earthquake would occur in the sub-continent. "The last known major earthquake occurred decades ago, when there was no technology to map the situation. There was no scope for a sub-terrain map, but now it could actually help us in understanding which way the energy is moving," he said.

Rao said since the movement of the tectonic plates is northwards, and this would cause an increase in the height of the Himalayan range by four centimetres every year.

"After the earthquake, there were close to 35 aftershocks in the region. Of which, 14 were calibrated between 4 and 5 on the Richter scale. But, two more tremors figured above 6.5 on the scale," he added.

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The last known major earthquake occurred decades ago, when there was no technology to map the situation. There was no scope for a sub-terrain map, but now it could actually help us in understanding which way the energy is moving - Dr Ch Mohan Rao, director, NGRI