New Delhi, June 4: The Delhi-NCR region has been witnessing earthquakes in the range of two to three magnitude on a usual basis. For people residing in the national capital territory, earthquakes have now become a normal phenomenon due to its frequent occurrence over the past few months. Reports inform that since April 12 to June 3 this year, a total of 11 earthquakes have been recorded in Delhi-NCR by National Centre for Seismology (NCS). The most number of earthquakes this year have been reported in the month of May 2020.
On Wednesday, a moderate intensity quake jolted parts of Delhi-NCR at 10:42 pm, triggering panic among residents. The epicentre of the earthquake was 19 kilometre South-East of Noida. The quake on June 3 was the third one to hit Delhi-NCR region in five days. Prior to this, two quakes measuring 4.6 and 2.9 were recorded in parts of Delhi and in the nearby regions of Noida and Gurugram on May 29.
Delhi Falls Under Fourth-Highest Seismic Zone
Delhi lies on Zone IV of the seismic map of India. The NCS states that two zones- Zones IV and V have high probability of earthquakes that can be destructive or worse. Several experts believe that the frequent quakes in this region have occurred as the area surrounding it is known for seismic activities. In the last ten years, the city has been hit by more than 100 earthquakes. The earthquake zoning map of India divides India into 4 seismic zones (Zone 2, 3, 4 and 5). Delhi falls under the fourth-highest seismic zone, which makes it vulnerable to earthquakes.
Seismic Activity Around Delhi Associated With Delhi-Hardwar Ridge
According to Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), the seismic activity around Delhi is believed to be associated with a major geological structure, known as the Delhi-Hardwar Ridge. The DDMA had said that the ridge coincides with the extension of the Aravalli Mountain belt beneath the alluvial plains of the Ganga basin to the northeast of Delhi towards the Himalayan mountain.
Scientists say Earthquakes in Delhi Usual, no Need to Worry
As the frequent earthquakes in the Delhi-NCR region raised concerns, the National Centre of Seismology, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences in May this year had said people need not fear regarding frequent earthquakes in the national capital and said they are a normal phenomenon. The NCS said the tremors between two to three magnitude are usual and have hit the city 100 times in the last ten years.
As per data available on the NCS website, between May 2015 and March 2019, more than 65 earthquakes have been recorded in the Delhi-NCR. Earthquakes of less than 5 magnitude and higher depth range are unlikely to cause large-scale damage. However, the frequency of quakes increased during a time when the country is already battling COVID-19 pandemic, which added more to worries of the people.