29 aftershocks shake Gujarat after 5.1 magnitude quake
For residents of Rapar town in Kutch district, tremors of the quake that was felt all across the state at 1: 44 am on Wednesday must have brought back memories of the calamitous temblor of 2001. But there was no need to worry as the 5.1 magnitude quake, with its epicentre in the Great Rann of Kutch, caused no loss of life or property.
The people, nevertheless, had to bear with nearly 29 aftershocks that followed the earthquake. The most powerful aftershock was of 3 magnitude and was recorded at 2:12 am on Wednesday.
Explaining Wednesday’s tremors, seismologists said that a new fault had been activated in the region and the latest quake had occurred on this fault. “The fault runs north-to-north-east and is known as the Transv
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He further said that this fault line had become active recently. “Some aftershocks were registered on this fault line even in 2006-07. Wednesday’s earthquake was of 5.1 magnitude, and its epicentre lay about 12-15 km east of Suvai village in Kutch, about 50 km from Rapar,” Rastogi said. He added that as the quake had occurred in the middle of the Great Rann of Kutch, no damage to property had occurred. “But 29 aftershocks have been recorded, of which the biggest was of 3 magnitude,” he said.
Rastogi further said that the Transverse fault was a proper fault and is capable of causing a big earthquake, maybe of 6 magnitude. “But no one can predict such earthquakes, where they will strike, when and with what intensity. Currently, the fault is active and no one can say how long it will stay so,” he said. Expressing the same view, RS Dattatrayam, head of seismology, Indian Meteorology Department (IMD), said that the science of seismology does not have enough clues to predict earthquakes.
“Earthquake prediction is still a grey area. The Rann of Kutch is zone four or five in terms of seismic activity. There are active faults in this region and, after the Bhuj earthquake, seismic activity has been recorded here frequently,” Dattarayam said. He too said that it is difficult to say, when, where and with what magnitude an earthquake would strike. “More and better research is required in this area,” he said. “There is a need to understand the precursors of a big earthquake. Currently, there is no technique by which an earthquake can be predicted. More study is required,” he added.
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