GUWAHATI: Assam had experienced a major earthquake on April 28 this year, leading to concern among people and experts in the seismically active region. Since the day of the major quake, the State has so far felt 23 low-to-medium-intensity aftershocks.
The development has caused concern among people and experts over the question as to whether the State would experience a much bigger and stronger earthquake shortly. Experts and geologists are also divided in their opinions.
"Even though frequent earthquakes in Assam and other parts of the Northeast are nothing unnatural since the entire region falls in the seismically-active Zone V, the recent major earthquake (April 28, 2021) happened in a particular location. Since the earthquake and aftershocks originated from the Sonitpur region, we should monitor the development properly. Our government agencies and other departments concerned should find out if it was an indication of a much bigger earthquake," an expert at Gauhati University told this reporter.
On the other hand, a faculty at the Geology Department of Cotton University said it is very difficult to predict an earthquake. "The 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. Frequent occurrences of earthquake help to release the accumulated stresses in phases that ultimately prevent the possible occurrence of an earthquake of a bigger scale," he said.
A faculty at IIT Guwahati said the Northeast is situated in a seismically active zone as the region is the meeting point of three major tectonic plates – the Indian Plate, the Eurasian Plate and the Burmese Plate. He said the relative movement of these plates makes the area very vulnerable as far as the occurrence of earthquake is concerned.
"So, the occurrence of earthquake in Assam and the Northeast is inevitable, only the time of occurrence and its intensity is unpredictable. Since the major earthquake in 1950 Assam didn't experience a big quake in the last few decades. The recent earthquake on April 28, 2021, measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale was a big one in my memory. So, it is difficult to predict the exact day, year and timing of a big earthquake," the IIT faculty said. He advised the people not to panic and instead remain alert to face any eventuality.