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Scientists believe more quakes can hit Himalayas

himalayasHYDERABAD: Even as the world struggles to come to terms with the strong quake that rocked Nepal, scientists here said that it was not totally unexpected.

Scientists said an earthquake measuring more that 8 on the Richter scale too can hit the Himalayan region. Even an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 would be several times more powerful than the one that rocked Nepal on Saturday.

The earthquake on Saturday was due a vertical movement of the two tectonic plates and had such an earthquake occurred in the sea, it would have triggering a massive tsunami.

The Himalayas were formed as a result of the collision between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates several millions of years ago.

The Indian plate is underthrusting beneath the Eurasian plate at the rate of 5 centimetres every year raising prospects of numerous earthquakes.

Former NGRI Chief Scientist Dr R.K. Chadda also said that occurrence of the earthquake is not surprising at all.

“Scientists were actually expecting an earthquake of magnitude more than 8.0 because energy is being continuously locked there. The region can experience a 9.0 magnitude earthquake also,” Dr N Purnachandra Rao, Senior Principal Scientist, of National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), said.

“There has not been a large earthquake for a long time. Since plate motion is continuously going on, there should be recurrence. There has been a lot of seismic gap since the last one,” he said. – From The Asian Age

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