Gandhinagar:Seismographs have registered an unusual seismic activity in the Saurashtra and Kutch peninsulas over the last few months, causing Capital-based Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) to send a report to the state government, terming it as “unusual enough to cause major damage”.
The state recently marked the seventh anniversary of the 2001 Bhuj earthquake.
“The region is seeing this kind of activity for the first time since 1938 when a similar build-up led to a damaging temblor in Surendranagar. We do not want to cause any alarm, and we are not predicting an impending quake, but it is unusual and we had to report it to the government,” said ISR Director General B K Rastogi.
While Kutch had recorded an average of 75 shocks every month during 2007 that scaled 2 on the Richter Scale, what is worrying ISR scientists is the spike in underground movements in the Saurashtra region. Jamnagar and Junagadh districts have reported 1,000 shocks each since August last year.
Of these, over 500 were of the order of 2 or more on the Richter Scale with Kalavad in Jamnagar and Talala in Junagadh facing the brunt of the fault lines. On November 6, 2007, a shock of 5 on the Richter rocked Talala, which damaged over 200 homes in the region. Last week alone saw two observable shocks in the Bhavnagar district.
Apart from warning the state government, ISR is also planning to watch the events underground. Having already set up 20 seismology stations — three multi parametric observatories are planned in Kutch to monitor seismic activity using 11 quake precursors. Also, all the stations across the state are being equipped with geodetic GPS devices.
“Land has been acquired and we should get the instruments soon. I expect the facilities to be up and running in the next couple of months,” the DG said. Of the three laboratories, while one will be constructed north of Bhachau, the other two will be located in the Vagad area of Rapar and Kutch talukas. These hi-tech laboratories will minutely observe underground activity like changes in gravitational field, electromagnetic frequencies, groundwater level, and emissions of radioactive gases like radon and helium. As part of the project to bolster quake intelligence, the Institute of Seismological Research, in collaboration with the Space Applications Centre (SAC), will also set up a dense network of GPS within Kutch.
In this network, InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) — a remote sensing technique — will help ISR scientists gauge the vertical movements through an ISRO satellite.
Courtesy: Expressindia.com - New Delhi,India