800,000 Could Die from Magnitude 8 Quake in Himalayas

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800,000 Could Die from Magnitude 8 Quake in Himalayas
By Press Trust of India

Over eight lakh people may die if an earthquake measuring eight on the Richter scale occurs in the seismically active Himalayan states from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, National Disaster Management Authority's Vice Chairman M. Shashidhar Reddy has warned.

The entire Himalayan belt is seismically very active and during a short span of 53 years between 1897 and 1950, four major earthquakes, (Shillong in 1897, Kangra in 1905, Bihar-Nepal in 1934 and Assam in 1950) exceeding magnitude eight on the Richter scale occurred in the region causing vast devastation.

  • "No such earthquake has occurred since 1950. Studies indicate that enough strains have accumulated to generate magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes in the Himalayan region. If an earthquake of magnitude eight occurs in the Himalayan states, eight to nine lakh people may lose their lives," the NDMA vice chief told PTI.
  • When and where such an earthquake would occur is not known and therefore, the best approach to face such an eventuality was to work for developing an earthquake-resilient society, Reddy said.
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