3.1-magnitude earthquake jolts Kashmir

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Srinagar: A 3.1-magnitude earthquake jolted Kashmir on Monday with panicked residents running out of their homes to safe places.

According to the National Center for Seismology, the epicenter was in Baramulla district and the quake occurred at a depth of 10 km.It said the earthquake occurred at 2:28 pm. Earlier, experts have warned of a major earthquake in the region as J&K falls in the seismic Zone IV and V.

J&K earlier experienced a series of tremors, causing widespread panic and fear among the residents.

On March 21 this year, an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale jolted J&K.

Also, Doda has emerged as one of the most eco-fragile areas in J&K due to its unique geo-climatic conditions.

It is prone to earthquakes and witnesses frequent low intensity quakes.

The vulnerability of geologically young unstable and fragile rocks in Doda have increased manifold due to various unscientific developmental activities.

As per the experts, one tremor occurs after every third day as around 421 earthquakes have been recorded in the last three years.

Noted seismologist, Prof Bikram Singh, who is the Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Kashmir (KU), said, "As per the data, around 107 earthquakes have been reported each year in the last three years. The highest magnitude has been recorded as 5 or 5.2 and the lowest has been recorded as 2."

He said that while every human being feels the high magnitude earthquakes but only the hypersensitive people feel quakes below magnitude of 2 or 2.5.

Prof Singh, who has around three dozen quality publications on seismology, said, “Quakes in Kashmir and Chenab Valley are mostly intra plate earthquakes which are of low magnitude,” he said. "If we go by the studies, the number of earthquakes is increasing and developmental activities are one of the main reasons for quakes."

About the safety measures, he said the seismic code is not followed during construction in private as well as government sectors.

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