An earthquake of magnitude 2.2 on the Richter scale was recorded late Friday morning near North Delhi’s Rohini — the sixth “minor earthquake” to have affected the national capital in the past one month, according to the National Centre for Seismology (NCS).
No damage to property has been reported in either of the six earthquakes, according to the Delhi Police. As per NCS officials, earthquakes of less than 5 magnitude and higher depth range are unlikely to cause large-scale damage, unless in case of weak or compromised structures.
“These are minor earthquakes and their occurrence is normal. Earthquakes cannot be predicted, so it cannot be said that the frequency with which they have occurred over past month is unusual,” said J L Gautam, the head of operations at the NCS.
“When a number of small earthquakes are recorded in a short span of time, a lot of energy is released and then the possibility of a larger earthquake reduces. But the ones recorded in the past month are minor and would have released little energy. So it cannot be said that there’s no possibility of a larger earthquake,” he added.
According to data available on the NCS website, between May 2015 and March 2019, more than 65 earthquakes have been recorded in the National Capital Region (NCR) and its nearby areas.
While 13 earthquakes, ranging from magnitudes as low as 1.9 in December 2017 to 3.8 in February 2019, were recorded during this period in Delhi and nearby areas, Noida recorded six earthquakes and Gurgaon 10 during this period.
The highest count was near Rohtak, Haryana, which is a part of the NCR, with 31 earthquakes between May 2015 and March 2019. This region has also recorded higher magnitudes than in Delhi, the highest being 4.6 in September 2016 and June 2017.
Delhi lies on Zone IV of the seismic map of India. As per the NCS, Zones IV and V have high probability of earthquakes that can be destructive or worse.
Between April 12 and May 15 this year, six earthquakes have been recorded in and around the capital, with magnitudes as high as 3.5 and low as 2, as per the automatic monitoring of the NCS.
“There are periods of no activity sometimes and then there are times of higher activity. This is normal, and such minor earthquakes are unlikely to cause damage,” said Gautam.
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