As seismologists warn
Hope the lava exhausts slowly and we are saved
FEEDBACK BY G. N. WADOO
In the recent publication of Greater Kashmir (10th December, 2011), a Seismologist and Professor of Geology-Prof. Roger Bilham has predicted an earthquake of large magnitude to strike the valley in future for which he has specified no time frame. His studies are based on global positioning system (GPS) Data reading which reveal the gradual movement of rocks in the Zanskar mountains-north of Kashmir valley and has also reported 9 magnitude earthquake will cause havoc and floods after triggering landslides and choking Jehlum River and Srinagar city will be vastly encompassed by this mega quake as the same magnitude earthquake devastated Japan on May 11, 2011.
Obviously we need to visualize the extent of destruction caused by the earthquake in other part of Kashmir (AJK) on October 8, 2005 in which about 70,000 people lost their life and irreparable loss of property was reported on either side. Its survivors are still living in miserable conditions without adequate facilities vis-ŕ-vis food, clothing, shelter, education, health care etc.
The geological study of the Kashmir reveals many low and high mega earthquakes in the valley from time to time with particular mention of a mega quake of the year 1885 which was accompanied by loud noises and large fishers were formed in the crust of the earth from which water and fine sand smelling strongly of Sulfur were thrown out. It was the most violent earthquake ever experienced in Kashmir which shook the valley, destroying countless houses and cattle, killing some 3000people (refer Vale of Kashmir by Sir Walter R. Lawrence). In the same book, the geological history of Kashmir valley reveals that there were igneous or volcanic agencies actively at work in the Kashmir Himalayas, the persistence of subterraneous thermal action indicated by the presence of numerous thermal springs and sulfurous springs which is hot in winter and cold in summer. Once such was in Theed village on the sides of Dal lake. In Wuyeun to the southeast of Srinagar, there were also sulfurous springs with high temperatures issuing from limestone rocks and two sulfurous springs with limestone rocks were located at Islamabad (Anantnag). The name Anantnag stands for numerous springs which were located in the area at many places.
The phenomenon of subterraneous volcanic action was experienced by the Vallieties in a tract of land at Soyam, Machipora, Nishhama of Kashmir in the year 1875 where the earth got abruptly heated up to the extent that the people boiled their rice on the hot ground for about 13months which was reported by Dr. Hugh Falconer quoted by Lydekker who were working in the valley on geological mission.
Occurrence of earthquakes is a natural phenomenon and non confined to any particular land, boundary, city or village. Our earth is an enemy beneath our feet as the earthquake strikes without warning and causes havoc in plains, mountains and oceans equally and without any partiality. Consider the terrifying statistics from the past, in the year 1755, Lisbon (Portugal) was destroyed entirely. In the year 1970, Peru lost 50000human lives. The Deccan Plateau (India) which was supposed to be free from earthquakes experienced severe earthquakes in the recent past which hit Koyna in 1967 and Lathore in 1993, Utter Kashi in 1991 and Chamoli in 1999. Earthquake in Gujrat in January, 2001 killed about 13000people with huge loss of property.
In order to reduce the high mortality rate in the event of life threatening earthquake of 9 magnitude of Victor Scale, proper Micro Seismic Zoning in Kashmir valley is the only option left with the State Government and the services of the experts - Seismologists and Geologists need to be streamlined on one hand and the people educated on safety measures in the event of an earthquake.
We have also to pray for the mercy of Almighty because He alone can save us from dreadful torment and there is every hope that the eruptions of volcanic lava will get exhausted slowly and gradually or even that the great earthquake will not strike at all depending on the mercy of Allah.
(G. N. Wadoo is retired official of Geology and Mining Department, J&K)
Lastupdate on : Wed, 28 Dec 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 28 Dec 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 29 Dec 2011 00:00:00 IST
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