Tribune News Service
Dharamsala, April 26
Earthquake of 7.5 magnitude that struck Nepal yesterday is another warning for residents of the Kangra valley as illegal constructions have been going on in quake-prone areas of Dharamsala including Naddi and Mcleodganj.
Dr AK Mahajan, head of the Department in Environmental Sciences in the Central University Himachal Pradesh, and former expert from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, said the Dal lake was the epicentre of the quake that struck the Dharamsala region in 1988. “I was surprised to see that a hotel has now come up right at the epicentre of the previous quake, he said.
He said the fault line of the Dharamsala region passes through Naddi and McLeodganj and these areas have received the maximum and unsafe construction in the past more than two decades.
Studies carried out by scientists revealed that if an earthquake of 7.5 magnitude strikes in the Himalayan region, besides Himachal, many cities of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir would also receive the maximum damage.
In such a case, there would be the maximum damage in Kangra, Palampur, Nagrota Bagwan, Mandi, Sundernagar, Shimla, Baddi, Solan, Hamirpur, Chamba, Pathankot, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Moga, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Panchkula, Anantnag and Jammu cities, he said.
Geological expert Harsh Gupta, the president of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, who had visited the area, had predicted that about 10 lakh people could perish if a big quake struke the region.
He had said assessments were being made as to what fraction of stain was accumulating from the ongoing collision between Indian and Asian plates. The infamous 1905 Kangra earthquake occurred at a time when 7 to 9 metre slip deficit had occurred. At that time just half of it was released.
Scientists say that in the Northwest Himalayas, one block lying between the Ravi in the west, the Sutlej and the Beas in the east and the Chandra on northern boundaries have been identified as the seismically active Kangra zone. It comprises 16,300 sqkm area.
Dr Mahajan said as per the 2001 Census, Kangra district had 5 lakh houses. It was a matter of concern that most of the development had been taking place against the standard norms and codes for seismic zones. The situation is more alarming as Kangra falls in zone 5 in terms of seismic vulnerability, he said.
Dr Ajay Paul from the Wadia institute in his paper presented during the conference held at CUHP had said 15 quakes had occurred in Himachal between August 2011 and July 2013. From their analysis, it seems that the epicentres of recent quakes lie in the region north to the epicentre of the 1905 Kangra earthquake.
The 1905 quake claimed 80,000 lives in Kangra.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
Days when few nations set agenda and expected others to fall in line are over, Jaishankar tells UNGA
External Affairs Minister asks UN member states not to allow...
Give Chandigarh to Punjab, no spare water to share: CM Bhagwant Mann at Northern Zonal Council meeting
CM says instead of SYL canal, the project should be now be c...
Khattar points out that surplus water from rivers such as Ra...
Challenges the levy of 28 per cent GST retrospectively on be...
Judicial appointments: Centre sitting over 70 Collegium recommendations; Supreme Court asks AG to get it resolved
'Today, I am quiet because Attorney General has sought a ver...