PITHORAGARH, December 9
The possibilities of high intensity earthquakes around main central thrust,(MCT) active from east to west across the Himalayan states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, is high in future as the activities in this thrust is increasing due to accumulation of energy inside the earth, Said the geologist in Kumaon University at Nainital.
Dr B.S. Kotlia, a well known geologist and professor of geology at Kumaon university Nainital, has warned the region against the high intensity earthquakes in the state particularly in the Kumaon region as, according to him, the otherwise calm, south Almora (SAT) thrust has become active in last decades as accumulated energy under earth is expressing itself in small tremors occurring from last several years.
According to Dr Kotalia, the weak Zone exists naturally below main central thrust that also passes through the region, has started movement with a speed of 10 mm per year at present.
“We cannot deny the future destruction in the region as well as in the state as the hitherto calm, Almora thrust, spread from Suyalbari in Almora to Kalamuni in Munsiyari has become highly active in last decades due to unplanned constructions in the region” said Dr Kotalia who has been researching on geological activities from past decade, in the region under UGC fellowship.
Kotalia said that there are two types of rocks found in the hill region of Himalayas, one, soft rocks and another hard rocks. While the construction on hard rocks is somewhat sustainable to earthquake the construction of roads and houses on soft rocks, which mostly formed on the soil brought by rivers in thousands of years, gets most damaged. “ The JCB machines being used in road construction in Hill region, can, however be used in hard rock portions, but when we use these machines at soft rock portions in Himalayan region, the earth below gets more fragile or weak becoming susceptible to more damages at the time of earthquakes’ said Dr Kotalia.
According to Dr Kotalia, even if the town planning under master plan is not followed in the region and extraction of debris in roads construction projects is continued to be done by heavy machines, the future landslides in these regions in the aftermath of tremors cannot be ruled out . “The geological survey of every construction project is equally essential to the projects” said Dr Kotalia.
“According to the geological studies compiled between 2006-11, under sponsorship of department of science and technology Government of India and G.B. Pant institute of environment and sustainable development at Katarmal in Almora, while main central thrust is highly active, main boundary thrust is less active compared to MCT,” said Dr Kotalia.
According to the geologist, there are several thrusts crossing the south Kumaon region of Almora and Nainital, these includes, main boundary thrust at Jyolikot, also known as Nainital lake fault, Shyakhet fault bear Bhawali in Nainital, Ramgarh thrust crossing Almora Haldwani highway near Khairna, North Almora and south Almora fault near Suyalbari and Someshwar regions of Almora district. “These faults, accompanied by several other zig zag thrusts along these, are spread up to Munsiyari and beyond it to Garhwal region the state” said Dr Kotalia.
Dr Kotalia said that the earthquake occurred on Wednesday, been more than 30 km deep, it would have done much damages as energy deposited under the earth below 20 km has not been released from long time. “This accumulated energy can explode with these faults” said Dr Kotalia.
According to Dr Kotalia, the situation of Munsiyari town in Pithoragarh district is highly sensitive from earthquake damages points of view as it is situated on the main central thrust. “The unplanned houses constructed in Ranikhet, Almora, and Bageshwar in Pithoragarh town of Kumaon region are at the risks of damages in future earthquakes as these have been constructed keeping master plans planes aside.