New Delhi, April 16: Last week's earthquake in India, that affected the entire North, along with some parts of the Northeast and the East, jolted us back to our senses on the very aspect of climate change and environmental concerns that has long been out of focus.
Incidentally, eight new cities and towns have been included by the Indian government as areas vulnerable to earthquakes of "very severe intensity" .
According to a government record released on March 16, 2016, the total number of cities now add up to 107. In the year 2002, only Srinagar and Guwahati were considered "very severe intensity zone" or the Zone V (the highest-risk seismic zone). But now, the recent additions are adiya and Tezpur in Assam, Bhuj in Gujarat, Darbhanga in Bihar, Imphal in Manipur, Kohima in Nagaland and Mandi in Himachal. In fact, the entire north-east region has been declared a zone V.
According to a research, a Himalayan earthquake, which is more than 500 years overdue is expected, although it cannot be predicted.
Why is India particularly on shaky tectonic plates? Geo experts say that India broke off from a super continent Gondwana. The Indian and the Eurasian plates, thus have been at the collision zone for the past 50 million years. It is said that the Indian plate is continuously diving under the Eurasian plate, which is why the Himalayas and the Mount Everest are still growing.
The Earth System Science Organisation-National Centre for Seismology reported that at least 392 earthquakes of magnitude greater than three were located in and around India in 2015. Of these, 136 occurred in India, out of which 114 were in Zone-V, 14 in Zone-IV, five in Zone-III and three in Zone-II.