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Scientists warn of major earthquake as stress build-up in Uttarakhand’s Dharchula region

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    10th Nov, 2020


About 45 km from the new Kailash Mansarovar road, connecting Dharchula in Uttarakhand to Lipu Lekh on the China border have unearthed large concentrations of micro and moderate magnitude earthquakes in the Dharchula region and adjoining areas of Kumaon Himalaya due to stress in the region and explored the geological structure behind it.

Key Points

  • Scientists say these large concentrations of earthquakes are “release of stress’’ building up in the region and that in the near future, there is likelihood of an earthquake of high magnitude in the region.
  • Apart from the Kangra earthquake in 1905 and Bihar-Nepal earthquake in 1934, this region has not experienced an earthquake of magnitude greater than 8.0 in the last 500 years.
  • The region is known as the Central Seismic Gap (CSG) region.
  • A gap is a term used to denote an area with little tectonic activity. This, despite the Himalayas being one of the most tectonically active regions in the country.

What can be the reason behind crowded earthquakes?

  • The Dharchula region falls between two knee-like structures, which trap the stress in this region.
  • This is the reason why there have been crowded earthquakes here within a span of years, numerous smaller earthquakes have occurred here and the stress keeps building up.
  • For the stress to be finally released, there is a strong possibility that a high magnitude earthquake of 8 on the richter scale may occur, unlike in other areas where earthquakes are scattered.
  • Of course, it is impossible to predict the scale or the exact time that an earthquake will occur. But we believe that this building stress will have to be released at some point.

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