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India has no reliable system to forecast earthquakes

Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh stated in Lok Sabha that climate change may have marginally increased the frequency of earthquakes

By groundreportdesk
New Update
India has no reliable system to forecast earthquakes

Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh stated in Lok Sabha that climate change may have marginally increased the frequency of earthquakes in the Himalayas. However, he also acknowledged that there is currently no reliable system for forecasting earthquakes.

Responding to a query from Badruddin Ajmal MP, Jitendra Singh suggested that the melting of thick ice sheets due to climate change could reduce the load on the Earth's crust, resulting in "micro-level earthquakes" with magnitudes less than 3.

Jitendra Singh said that small earthquakes are much more frequent than large ones, and most go undetected by deployed sensors. The National Center for Seismology (NCS), which is a body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences that tracks seismic activity globally, reported two earthquakes on Thursday alone in Manipur and Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, both below 4 on the scale.

Why is forecasting earthquakes so difficult?

The main challenge in predicting earthquakes is that they are unpredictable in nature. While scientists can track and study seismic activity in a given region, it is impossible to predict exactly when or where an earthquake will occur. This is because earthquakes are the result of complex geological processes that can vary greatly from event to event.

Seismologists use a variety of methods to study seismic activity, including tracking tectonic plate movements, analyzing geological formations, and tracking changes in Earth's magnetic fields. However, even with these tools, it is impossible to predict the exact timing, magnitude, or location of an earthquake.

Consequences of not having a reliable system for forecasting earthquakes

The lack of a reliable forecasting system has significant implications for public safety and infrastructure in India. Without adequate warning, people may not have time to evacuate dangerous areas or prepare for the effects of an earthquake, such as power outages, water shortages, and damage to buildings and roads.

In addition to the immediate risks to public safety, the economic consequences of earthquakes can be significant. Businesses can suffer losses from damaged buildings and lost productivity, and the costs of rebuilding and repairing infrastructure can be substantial.

What is the govt doing to address this issue?

The central government has taken steps to improve its earthquake preparedness and response capabilities in recent years. For example, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was established in 2005 to coordinate disaster preparedness and response efforts at the national level.

The government has also invested in earthquake monitoring and research through the National Center for Seismology (NCS), which tracks seismic activity across the country. The government has implemented building codes and regulations intended to reduce the risk of earthquake damage.

However, despite these efforts, India still lacks a reliable system for predicting or forecasting earthquakes. This leaves the country vulnerable to future seismic events, with potentially disastrous consequences.

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