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Possibility of mega quake high in NE: expert

By AJIT PATOWARY

GUWAHATI, Sept 21 � The NE region is likely to experience a mega earthquake measuring 8 or more in the Richter scale in the near future, even though the process of making of this mega event has now been delayed by some �medium� and �high-medium� earthquakes releasing some amounts of the accumulated strain in the recent period. This mega earthquake was predicted by Assam seismologist Prof Surya Kanta Sarma way back in 1988. Prof Sarma said at that time that the mega event would occur in the NE Indian region by 2010. However, two moderate (high-medium-- beyond 5 and less than 7 on the Richter scale) earthquakes measuring 6.2 and 6.8 hit the region in 2009 and 2011 respectively, besides some low intensity (medium -- less than 5 on the Richter scale) earthquakes, releasing some amounts of the region�s accumulated strain. Prof Sarma�s concept was basically based on the accumulated tectonic strains.

Talking to this correspondent, Prof Sarma said that some amounts of strain energy, whatever small it may be, has been released by the medium and high medium earthquakes occurring in the region since 1988. But, the accumulated strain in NE India is much more than what has been released by the 2009 and 2011 earthquakes. These two earthquakes released only negligible amount of strain energy accumulated in the region. They may, however, extend the time lag for the mega event to occur. All the above developments may delay the occurrence of the mega event, but will not root out its possibility, asserted Prof Sarma. He also maintained that the September 18 earthquake had occurred in the Alpide-Himalayan belt, which is spread over a vast area comprising Sumatra, Manipur-Myanmar border region, North India, Nepal, Kashmir, Baluchistan, Iran up to Gibraltar in Europe. This belt is one of the major earthquake belts because of the tectonic activities, said Prof Sarma.

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Possibility of mega quake high in NE: expert

GUWAHATI, Sept 21 � The NE region is likely to experience a mega earthquake measuring 8 or more in the Richter scale in the near future, even though the process of making of this mega event has now been delayed by some �medium� and �high-medium� earthquakes releasing some amounts of the accumulated strain in the recent period. This mega earthquake was predicted by Assam seismologist Prof Surya Kanta Sarma way back in 1988. Prof Sarma said at that time that the mega event would occur in the NE Indian region by 2010. However, two moderate (high-medium-- beyond 5 and less than 7 on the Richter scale) earthquakes measuring 6.2 and 6.8 hit the region in 2009 and 2011 respectively, besides some low intensity (medium -- less than 5 on the Richter scale) earthquakes, releasing some amounts of the region�s accumulated strain. Prof Sarma�s concept was basically based on the accumulated tectonic strains.

Talking to this correspondent, Prof Sarma said that some amounts of strain energy, whatever small it may be, has been released by the medium and high medium earthquakes occurring in the region since 1988. But, the accumulated strain in NE India is much more than what has been released by the 2009 and 2011 earthquakes. These two earthquakes released only negligible amount of strain energy accumulated in the region. They may, however, extend the time lag for the mega event to occur. All the above developments may delay the occurrence of the mega event, but will not root out its possibility, asserted Prof Sarma. He also maintained that the September 18 earthquake had occurred in the Alpide-Himalayan belt, which is spread over a vast area comprising Sumatra, Manipur-Myanmar border region, North India, Nepal, Kashmir, Baluchistan, Iran up to Gibraltar in Europe. This belt is one of the major earthquake belts because of the tectonic activities, said Prof Sarma.