Kashmir Indepth

In 12-yrs, Kashmir witnesses 160 earthquakes
Friday’s tremors set cracks in scores of constructions across valley

Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Srinagar Feb 13 (KINS): Kashmiris on Friday night witnessed October 2005 scenes where people ran out of their homes as earthquakes jolted the valley.
An official said the magnitude of the earthquake was 6.3 on Richter Scale. The epicentre of the earthquake is still unclear but initial inputs suggest that the tremors originated from Tajikistan.
Strong tremors were also felt in parts of North India, including Delhi-NCR, Punjab, and even in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand too.
Pictures and videos surfacing on social media platforms show people running out of their homes in Srinagar, and even in the Delhi-NCR region.
The official said dozens of houses have developed cracks in parts of Kashmir especially in North Kashmir. “Final details are yet to come. It will take few days to know exact details about damages,” the official told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).
In North Kashmir, the official said Kupwara is most affected district where so many houses have developed cracks due to jolts.
Meanwhile, as per the details available with news agency KINS, over 160 earthquakes hit Kashmir in last 12-years.
Most parts of Kashmir come under Seismic Zone V and are prone to earthquakes. Experts give varied reasons for earthquakes in J&K including various faults run through Kashmir and exploding of gases.
The Kashmir felt tremors seven times in 2011, 11 earthquakes in 2012, 25 in 2013, and 19 in 2014.
In October 2015, two earth quakes were recorded including a powerful one on October 26 of 7.5 magnitude in which three people lost their lives and caused damage to scores of houses across the state.
Kashmir valley is vulnerable to disasters. At least 13 districts out of 100 districts in India have been identified as ‘multi hazard districts’.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department, most parts of Kashmir covering the districts of Srinagar, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Budgam, Anantnag and parts of Jammu region, Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar come under Seismic Zone V and are prone to earthquakes. While the rest part of the state comes under Seismic Zone IV.
A senior official of Meteorological Department said the frequent earth quakes have proved that people and the government should be well prepared in dealing with such incidents.
“We need to take some measures like building earth quake resistant constructions,” he said.
He people should be well prepared for earthquakes. “We can’t predict the timing, magnitude and place of an earthquake but we should be well prepared in dealing with any such natural disaster,” he added. (KINS)

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