Dehradun, April 9: A massive earthquake of range 8+ magnitude may jolt Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Nepal any time soon as the hills of Uttarakhand are hit frequently by mild tremors, cautioned state’s Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre (DMMC).
According to India.com report, quakes measuring more than eight on the Richter Scale likely to take place because “the central seismic gap of the Himalayan front, spanning Himachal Pradesh, Nepal and Uttarakhand, has not been ruptured in any major earthquake in the last 200-500 years”.
Executive Director of DMMC, Piyush Rautel told news agency PTI “Frequent mild earthquakes in the hills of Uttarakhand should not be dismissed as common occurrences but treated as pointers to a major earthquake which is long overdue in the central seismic gap of the Himalayan front spanning Himachal Pradesh, Nepal and Uttarakhand”.
Another factor which may result in a major tremor is that the 700-km long seismic gap on the Himalayan front, which spans Uttarakhand, neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and Nepal, has not been ruptured in any major earthquake in the last 200-500 years, he stated.
As per the official data available on the Uttarakhand MeT departments website, there have been around 51 mild earthquakes in different parts of the state, especially the hilly districts of Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh, Almora and Rudraprayag, ever since January 1, 2015.
However, on average mild quakes occur in the hills twice a month with the recent hitting Bagheshwar district and nearby areas in Uttarakhand around noon on Monday.
The intensity of the quake was recorded at 2.8 on the Richter scale. No damage to property or loss of life has been reported, an official said.
The epicentre of the temblor was 10 km below the surface in Kapkot.
Earlier, another quake took place in Pithoragarh on April 1 this year.
“These earthquakes often measuring about 2.5-4.5 on the Richter Scale are reminder from the nature that we live in an area vulnerable to earthquakes and cannot afford to lower our guard”, the officer added.