Surge in earthquake activity in 2023 linked to Almora fault activation

New Delhi, Dec 6: Recent data has revealed a notable upswing in earthquake activity during the year 2023, primarily attributed to the activation of the Almora fault in Western Nepal.

This activation triggered significant mainshock earthquakes on January 24 (Magnitude: 5.8), October 3, (Magnitude: 6.2), and November 3 (Magnitude: 6.4).

   

The consequential mainshocks, accompanied by subsequent aftershocks, have contributed to an increased frequency of earthquakes throughout the year. Notably, the background seismicity remained unchanged during this period. Union Minister of Earth Sciences, Kiren Rijiju, shared this information in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today adding that the government remains committed to addressing the challenges posed by heightened earthquake activity, emphasising both preparedness and proactive measures to mitigate the impact on vulnerable regions.

The Himalayan region, particularly Nepal and the northern part of India, is accustomed to occasional moderate earthquakes due to the active faults in the area. The fluctuations in seismic activity are inherent to the collision tectonics, where the Indian plate subducts beneath the Eurasian Plate.

The Minister said that to address the seismic vulnerability of the region, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has issued the Seismic Zoning Map of India, categorized from Zone II to V. The map serves as a guide for implementing essential engineering codes and practices, ensuring the construction of earthquake-resistant buildings.

In response to the increased seismic activity, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has undertaken various precautionary measures. These include earthquake drills, awareness programs, and comprehensive earthquake management strategies aimed at enhancing preparedness and response to seismic incidents.

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