New Delhi: Over eight lakh people may die if an earthquake measuring 8 on the Richter scale occurs in the seismically-active Himalayan states from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, National Disaster Management Authority's Vice Chairman M Shashidhar Reddy has warned.
The entire Himalayan belt is seismically very active and during a short span of 53 years between 1897 and 1950, four major earthquakes, (Shillong -1897, Kangra -1905, Bihar-Nepal -1934 and Assam -1950) exceeding magnitude 8 on the Richter scale occurred in the region causing vast devastation.
“No such earthquake has occurred since 1950. Studies indicate that enough strains have accumulated to generate magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes in the Himalayan region. If an earthquake of magnitude 8 occurs in the Himalayan states, eight to nine lakh people may lose their lives,” the NDMA vice-chief told PTI.
Reddy said when and where such an earthquake would occur is not known and therefore, the best approach to face such an eventuality was to work for developing an earthquake-resilient society.