GUWAHATI: Four consecutive earthquakes in Northeast on Friday & Saturday, has caused fear and concern among people and experts for a major tremor in the region.
Four earthquakes of 5.5, 5.6, 3.8 and 4.9 magnitudes on the Richter scale hit Arunachal Pradesh on Friday and in the early hours of Saturday. Tremors were also felt in other NE States, including Assam. The epicenter of all four earthquakes was located in Arunachal Pradesh.
Noted disaster management expert Manik Kar has said that the four consecutive earthquakes in NE were a sign that the region could face a major tremor. He said in 1950, consecutive quakes hit NE from February 13 to 26 before the largest quake of 8.6 magnitude on the Richter Scale that devastated the region on August 15 in the same year.
Kar, a retired associate professor of Geography in Nagaon College and visiting professor of Tezpur University on Disaster Management and Research, however stressed that the people should remain alert instead of becoming panic.” Lack of alertness and awareness kills more people than the earthquake,” he said.
On other hand, a faculty in the Civil Engineering department of Assam Engineering College said that frequent low-intensity earthquakes in the North East are normal since the entire region falls in the seismically-active Zone V.
“It is normal if the earthquake is happening in different places. But if it is happening in a particular location frequently or the epicenter is located in and around a particular area, we should monitor it properly,” the teacher said.
A teacher at IIT Guwahati said scientists at IIT Roorkee have already developed an earthquake early warning system that can alert people up to a minute before the quake strikes. The system, already deployed in some areas of Uttarakhand, consists of a network of sensors that detect different types of seismic waves travelling through the layers of the Earth after a quake, he said.
“Current techniques of earthquake prediction do not really work. People try to predict it using statistical methods, but none of the methods known yet are accurate enough,” he said. However, the earthquake early warning system can give people a lead time ranging from 10 seconds to a minute.
“The governments in NE States must be in touch in with IIT Roorkee considering the region’s vulnerability to earthquake,” the teacher said.