New Delhi: Is India on the verge of being hit by massive, catastrophic earthquakes? If disaster management experts at the Ministry of Home Affairs are to be believed, then yes!
MHA experts have warned that earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.0 or more on the Richter scale are likely to hit the Himalayan region, The Times of India reported on Wednesday.
Experts said in the wake of Monday's quake that hit Manipur that bigger quakes are expected to jolt the region in the future.
A series of recent earthquakes -- Manipur 6.7 magnitude - Jan 2016, Nepal 7.3 - May 2015 and Sikkim 6.9 - 2011 -- have re-ruptured the tectonic plates underneath the Himalayan region. These plates had developed cracks during previous tremors, the report said.
These combined with other conditions may trigger earthquakes of minimum 8.0 magnitude, experts said.
And a quake of that magnitude will be catastrophic for the Himalayan region.
As per the report, the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) of the MHA has warned that they have assessed greater risk around the "ring of fire garlanding the entire north India especially the mountains".
As per NIDM director Santosh Kumar, the interconnected plates across Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and India could trigger a massive quake that would be disastrous for the people living in hill states and parts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Most of these areas fall either in seismic Zone IV or V.
Roger Bilham, a well-known seismologist at the University of Colorado, has also said that "the current conditions might trigger at least four earthquakes greater than 8.0 in magnitude. And if they delay, the strain accumulated during the centuries provokes more catastrophic mega earthquakes."