The Newz Radar
CHAMBA: After the large-scale devastation caused by three days of battering by heavy rain in parts of Himachal Pradesh, a low-intensity earthquake shook Chamba in the early hours on Tuesday.
Meteorological sources said the tremors were felt at 1.45 am and its intensity was measured at 2.8 on the Richter scale. The epicentre of the earthquake was in Chamba town at 32.65 degrees north latitude and 76.57 east longitude and at a depth of 5 km from the ground surface.
There is no report of any loss of life or property due to the earthquake. According to the data of the Meteorological Department, 131 mm of rainfall has been recorded in Chamba district. Twenty-one persons have lost their lives in the destruction while the state government has pegged its losses at about Rs 4,000 crore.
Chamba along with Kangra, Lahaul and Spiti, Kullu and Mandi districts falls under seismic zone four and five for being most prone to earthquakes. More than 20,000 lives were lost in Kangra in an earthquake that struck early morning on April 4, 1905. The magnitude was 7.8 on the Richter scale. Around one lakh buildings were destroyed by the earthquake while more than 53,000 cattle perished.
The main reason for the occurrence of earthquakes is the collision of plates inside the earth. There are seven plates inside the earth which keep on rotating continuously. When these plates collide at some point, a fault line zone is formed there and the corners of the surface are folded. Due to the cornering of the surface, pressure builds up there and the plates start breaking. Due to the breakdown of these plates, the energy inside finds a way to come out, due to which the earth shakes and we consider it as an earthquake.
Earthquakes with a magnitude of less than 2 on the Richter scale are classified as micro and cannot be felt. About 8,000 earthquakes of micro category on the Richter scale are recorded daily worldwide. Similarly, earthquakes with a magnitude of 2 to 2.9 are kept in the minor category and 1,000 such earthquakes occur daily, which are hardly felt.
Very light earthquakes of magnitude 3 to 3.9 are recorded 49,000 times in a year. These are felt, but hardly cause any harm. Light category earthquakes are 4 to 4.9 magnitude, which are recorded about 6,200 times in a year all over the world. These tremors are felt and household items are seen moving due to them. However, these cause negligible damage. Earthquakes above 5 magnitude, especially those above 6 and 7, can cause considerable damage.