Major earthquake may rock Delhi-NCR soon: IIT Professor

“Recurrent tremors of small magnitudes indicate a bigger earthquake,” said P K Khan, professor of the institute’s applied geophysics department.

11 earthquakes since April 12 in Delhi-NCR, is the big one around the corner?
SINDRI: Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) may see a major earthquake in the coming days, experts at IIT (ISM) Dhanbad’s departments of applied of geophysics and seismology department said.

“Recurrent tremors of small magnitudes indicate a bigger earthquake,” said P K Khan, professor of the institute’s applied geophysics department. Khan, who is also the head of the seismology department, said the time has come for the Union and Delhi governments to take preventive measures and create awareness.

“The entire region experienced 64 tremors with magnitudes ranging between 4.0 ad 4.9 and eight with magnitudes 5.0 and above over the last two years, which shows an increase in the accumulation of strain energy in the region, particularly near Delhi and Kangra,” Khan said. Of the total, 11 tremors were felt in the region in the last two months with the latest near Noida on June 3.


“NCR is just 370 km from Kangra and 260 km from Uttarkashi, which is known for severe earthquakes, and a bigger earthquake in this fault line is bound to affect NCR,” Khan added. Chamba and Dharamshala near Kangra witnessed earthquakes of 6.3 and 7.8 magnitudes in 1945 and 1905, Khan informed.

Although the clustering of the recent seismicity is relatively small and apparently an area of quiescence is noted in Garhwal near Uttarkashi, it has witnessed earthquakes of 7.7 magnitude in 1803 and 6.8 magnitude in 1991. In the present times of increasing urban densification and failure of governments in making builders adhere to earthquake prevention rules, a tremor of a higher magnitude can prove to be catastrophic for the NCR, Khan opined.

He said seismicity is also being clustered along the strike of the Delhi-Haridwar Ridge (DHR) and the relative plate movement has been recorded at 44mm per year which should be a matter of concern for all.
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“Since no prediction model for earthquakes is still available, the Earthquake Early Warning System (EEWS) designed on back-azimuth and slowness-based algorithm is a must for Delhi and NCR,” Khan maintained.

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