AN EARTHQUAKE of 4.3 magnitude on the Richter Scale was recorded at Dahanu in Palghar Friday morning. The epicentre of the quake was around 27 km from Dhundalwadi village and was felt over a wide region, including in around 35 villages in Dahanu. This was biggest earthquake experienced in the area till date, said officials.
While no loss of life or limb was reported, several structures developed cracks in the area, civic authorities said. According to disaster management teams, tremors were also felt in Silvassa, Umbargaon and several other villages in Gujarat, all the way to the exterior areas of Vapi.
Dahanu Tehsildar Rahul Sarang said the earthquake hit at 11.14 am. The officials were having a meeting at Tawa village, Sarang added, when the earthquake hit. “We could feel it and it went on for some seconds. Right after, we mobilised our teams,” a civic official said.
“We have 14 teams patrolling the area. This was the biggest earthquake till now,” Sarang said.
It was a shallow earthquake, said officials. “The depth of the epicentre below the ground determines if it is a shallow, mid-focus or intermediate-level quake. This tremor originated hardly 5 km underground and travelled farther,” said an officer from the disaster management team. He said, “The depth can determine the amount of damage, but we don’t have enough data to say how much of a factor it plays here.” There have been around 700 tremors in Dahanu since January, Sarang said. “Most of them are too light to be felt, but we have been feeling at least a couple of tremors every day.”
Palghar Collector Prashant Narnaware said, “A fault line around Dahanu has become active and is releasing energy. As long as the energy is released in quick bursts, we won’t have a serious earthquake. We are ready for any eventuality.”