24 January, 2021

Convulsion Watch!

Awaited: a temblor 40-50 times energetic

Graphic by Saahil
Convulsion Watch!

The Kathmandu quake has scared the wits out of most people living in north India, but experts say this was a baby earthquake compared to what may be expected in the near future. A bigger quake, a giant killer that packs in 40-50 times more energy than the 7.9 Richter temblor that shook Nepal and India is waiting to happen anywhere in the wide, sweeping arc of the Himalayas and its subsystems, from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. The most susceptible is the central zone south of Kathmandu in India where a ‘great earthquake’ has not occurred in the last 700 years. Harsh Gupta, one of India’s foremost seismologists and former secretary in the ministry of earth sciences, says, “A big one, much, much bigger than the Kathmandu quake, is long overdue.” Unfortunately, science has not progressed far enough to precisely forecast earthquakes in advance.

In an earlier write-up in Outlook (Oct 3, 2011) titled Earth­quake: Waiting for the...

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