965 earthquakes with magnitude 3 and above recorded in 2020: Govt

A total of 965 earthquakes of magnitude 3 and above were recorded last year and 13 of them were in the National Capital Region and its vicinity, Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday.

In a written reply to a question in the LokSabha, Vardhan said “possibilities are being explored” to take up pilot study on earthquake early-warning system in collaboration with the United States Geological Survey.

Vardhan said the National Center for Seismology (NCS), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, maintained a nationwide seismological network, comprising 115 seismic stations, to monitor the earthquake activity in and around the country. “During the last year, a total of 965 earthquakes with magnitude 3 and above have been reported by NCS. Out of which, 13 earthquakes were recorded in National Capital Region (NCR) and its vicinity,” he said.

Vardhan said no proven system was available at present in the country to provide the early warning of earthquakes. “However, possibilities are being explored to take up a pilot study on earthquake early warning system in collaboration with United States Geological Survey,” Vardhan said. Vardhan said the NCS had initiated magnetotelluric geophysical survey, interpretation of satellite imageries and geological field investigations in Delhi and surroundings in collaboration with IIT Kanpur and the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun. The purpose of these studies is to locate and characterise the major seismic sources/fault lines in Delhi and surroundings.