Friday, July 8, 2011


Srinagar Jul 08 (Only Kashmir): A "great earthquake" measuring eight or above on the Richter scale may rock Kashmir by 2055, a geologist warned.
The state was hit by a 7.6 intensity quake in 2005, with epicenter around Muzaffarabad in Pakistani Kashmir, killing over 100,000 people.
G.M. Bhat of Jammu University, who has undertaken extensive study in seismology, said: "Rough calculations indicate that 'Great Earthquake' happen every 500 years. The records show the last one occurred in 1555 in the Kashmir seismic gap of the Himalayan range."
He said Roger Bilham, professor of Geology at the University of Colorado, has also mentioned in his study that the last "great earthquake" occurred in the Kashmir gap in 1555 and before the next one, a smaller earthquake of 7.6 intensity rocked this gap (in 2005).
"Studying this pattern we can say that a 'great earthquake' can rock Kashmir by or before 2055," Bhat said.
The Himalayan zone is divided into three seismic gaps - Kashmir, Central and Assam. Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand fall under Kashmir gap that falls in the highest risk zone.
Bhat said that during the earthquake in 2005, only one-tenth of the elastic energy under the earth was released. "As nine-tenth energy is still held inside, the 'Great Earthquake' can happen before 2055."


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