National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has warned that over eight lakh people may die if an earthquake measuring 8 on the Richter scale occurs in the seismically-active Himalayan states from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.
This was stated by NDMA’s vice chairman M. Shashidhar Reddy. According to Reddy entire Himalayan belt is seismically very active and during a short span of 53 years between 1897 and 1950, four major earthquakes, (Shillong -1897, Kangra -1905, Bihar-Nepal -1934 and Assam -1950) exceeding magnitude 8 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 8 occurs in the Himalayan states, eight to nine lakh people may lose their lives,”Reddy said.
He further added that 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.