GUWAHATI: Three earthquakes measuring 5.4, 4.1 and 3.9 on the Richter scale shook Assam and other parts of the Northeast in the last 24 hours.
The first tremor (5.4 in the Richter scale) was felt at 8.48 pm on Monday and the epicentre of the quake, according to the National Centre for Seismology, is in Sikkim (India)-Nepal border at a depth of 10 km. Tremors were felt in Guwahati and several parts of Assam. The second and third earthquakes hit Assam and other parts of NE at 7.02 am and 2.31 pm respectively on Tuesday.
Assam has been experiencing low to medium intensity earthquakes at frequent intervals, leading to concern among people and experts in the seismically-active region. The development has caused concern among people and experts over the question whether earthquakes at frequent intervals hint about a bigger and strong earthquake in the near future. Experts and geologists are also divided in their opinions.
"Frequent earthquakes in the Northeast are a cause of concern since the entire region falls in the seismically-active Zone V. In case it is happening in a particular location frequently as pointed out in Assam, Manipur and Mizoram (in the last few months) we should monitor it properly. Our government agencies should find out if it was an indication of a bigger earthquake," an expert at Gauhati University said. A professor of Cotton University said frequent occurrence of earthquakes is not always an indicator of the possible occurrence of a bigger earthquake in the near future.
"Occurrence of earthquake is a mean of releasing stresses that are accumulated deep inside the earth because of the relative movement of the tectonic plates. Sometimes frequent occurrence of small-scale earthquake helps to release the accumulated stresses in phases that ultimately prevents the possible occurrence of an earthquake of bigger scale," he said.