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Activation of Almora fault led to increase in earthquakes in 2023: Govt informs Lok Sabha

Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju Wednesday informed Lok Sabha that the activation of the Almora fault in western Nepal is the reason behind the significant increase in earthquakes in 2023. There have been 97 earthquakes in 2023 of magnitude 3.0 to 3,9 compared to 41 in 2022, reported PTI

In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Rijiju said the activation of the Almora fault triggered significant earthquakes on January 24, October 3 and November 3. All these three earthquakes were above 5.8 magnitude. 

“These main, accompanied by subsequent aftershocks, led to an increased frequency of earthquakes in 2023. However, the background seismicity remained unchanged during this period,” the Earth Sciences Minister informed the Parliament.

“It is common for northern India and Nepal to occasionally experience moderate earthquakes, and fluctuations in seismic activity. Nepal and the neighbouring northern part of India, situated near the active faults of the Himalayan region, are highly seismically active areas prone to frequent earthquakes due to collision tectonics, where the Indian plate subducts beneath the Eurasian Plate,” the Minister said.

The northern part of India including Delhi-NCR experienced strong tremors this year. On January 24, an earthquake of magnitude 5.8 hit Nepal. It was strongly felt in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Similarly, on October 3, two earthquakes of magnitude 4.6 and 6.2 jolted Nepal and the tremors were again felt in Delhi-NCR. On November 3, a powerful earthquake of 6.4 magnitude hit Nepal with more than 382 aftershocks.

It is important to know that the Almora fault is a high angle west-northwest-east-souteast to northwest-southeast trending tectonic plane that separates the Garhwal group of inner lesser Himalaya in the north from Jaunsar and Dudatoli Groups of outer lesser Himalayas in the south.

The Minister further informed that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published the Seismic Zoning Map of India, ranging from Zone II to V and offers guidelines for implementing the essential engineering codes and practices to construct earthquake-resistant buildings.

 

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Published: 06 Dec 2023, 05:08 PM IST

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