India is witnessing frequent earthquakes in the last two to three years. With every passing year, more and more places in India are becoming vulnerable to earthquakes. On April 16, names of eight new cities and towns have been added to a government list of urban areas with “very severe intensity”, as reported by IndiaSpend. This development comes after the earthquake in Myanmar that took place on April 13, in which tremors were felt in many places across India.
81 new towns were added to the list of areas prone to earthquakes, bringing the total to 107. Earlier, only Guwahati and Srinagar were marked as ‘very severe intensity zone’ in 2007. The latest additions are Jorhat, Sadiya, and Tezpur in Assam, Bhuj in Gujarat, Darbhanga in Bihar, Imphal in Manipur, Kohima in Nagaland and Mandi in Himachal. The entire of the north-east region lies in seismic zone V.
The Punjab cities of Amritsar and Jalandhar were listed as level 4 intensity while Ludhiana, Bathinda, and Patiala were listed as moderate to severe.
IndiaSpend had reported earlier that nearly 60% of the sun-continental landmass is vulnerable to earthquakes, with 38 earthquake prone cities, according to the data of the National Disaster Management Authority. It had also reported that a big Himalayan Earthquake is overdue more than 500 years and no one can predict when it can happen.
Why is India at risk?
The Indian and Eurasian plates have been in conflict for 50 million years, with the Indian plate diving, northward, under the Eurasian plate. As many as 392 earthquakes of magnitude greater than three were located in and around India in 2015, the seismological network operated by Earth System Science Organisation-National Centre for Seismology reported.
Out of these 392, 136 occurred in India, 114 in Zone-V, 14 in Zone-IV, five in Zone-III and three in Zone-II, respectively.
What are the different seismic zones?
Zone II (Low-intensity zone): Where the intensity of earthquake on Modified Mercalli Scale is VI or less.
Zone III (Moderate intensity zone): The intensity is VII
Zone IV (Severe intensity zone): The intensity is VIII
Zone V (Very severe intensity zone): The intensity is X and above it.