Monday, 22 August 2016

Biggest Earthquake To Strike Parts Of India Soon

Posted by Anup Baral August 22nd, 2016 :
Scientists said they have new evidence of increasing strain where two tectonic plates underlie the world’s largest river delta. They estimate that at least 140 million people in the region could be affected if the boundary ruptures; the destruction could come not only from the direct results of shaking, but changes in the courses of great rivers, and in the level of land already perilously close to sea level.
The newly identified threat is a subduction zone, where one section of the earth’s crust, or a tectonic plate, is slowly thrusting under another. All of earth’s biggest known earthquakes occur along such zones; these include the Indian Ocean quake and tsunami that killed some 230,000 people in 2004, and the 2011 Tohoku quake and tsunami off Japan, which swept away more than 20,000 and caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Up to now, all known such zones were only under the ocean; this one appears to be entirely under the land, which greatly multiplies the threat.

The strain between the plates has been building for at least 400 years — the span of reliable historical records, which lack reports of any mega quake, said lead author Michael Steckler, a geophysicist at the Columbia University.

When an inevitable release comes, the shaking is likely to be larger than magnitude 8.2 and could even reach a magnitude of 9, similar to the largest known modern quakes, said Steckler.

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