An analysis of the earthquakes which occurred in and around Delhi in the past 20 years did not show any definite pattern in the frequency of the quakes which could suggest an increase in seismic activity, Union Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday.
A total of 745 earthquakes have been recorded by the National Seismological Network, including 26 such events in the National Capital Region (NCR), during the last three years (September 2017 to August 2020) with magnitude three and above (on the Richter scale), the minister said.
In a written response to a question in Lok Sabha, Vardhan said during the last few months (April 12 to July 3, 2020), four earthquakes of magnitude in the range of 3.3 to 4.7; and 13 smaller earthquakes, including the aftershocks (magnitude 2.5- 3), were recorded in NCR.
He, however, said it is difficult to state that any increase in seismicity is an indicator of likely occurrence of major earthquakes.
“An analysis carried out by the National Centre for Seismology (NCS), an institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, on past 20 years’ earthquakes which occurred in and around Delhi, does not show any definite pattern in frequency of earthquake occurrence which could suggest any increase in earthquake activity,” Vardhan said.
However, during the recent years, seismic monitoring over Delhi has improved considerably and even lower magnitude events are automatically detected and disseminated quickly through NCS website and mobile application.
“It is perhaps giving the impression of enhanced earthquake activity in the region, which was otherwise not noticed earlier. It is difficult to state that any increase in seismicity is an indicator of a likely occurrence of a major earthquake,” he said.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands recorded 198 quakes during this period (September 2017 to August 2020), while Jammu and Kashmir registered 98 tremors. Both are known to areas with high seismic activities, the minister told the Lower House.
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