Why the May 12 Nepal quake is called an aftershock

The May 12, 2015 earthquake of 7.3 magnitude that struck 68 km west of Namche Bazar, close to Mount Everest is an aftershock of the April 25 Nepal quake of 7.9 magnitude that has till date killed over 8,000 people and injured many thousands and renderedseveral thousands more homeless. The magnitude of aftershocks will always … Continue reading Why the May 12 Nepal quake is called an aftershock

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Himalayas: next major quake may be west of the recent one

“In future, if any earthquake were to happen along the Himalayas, it may happen further west of the focus of the main April 25 quake,” said Dr. R.K. Chadha, Chief Scientist at the Hyderabad-based National Geophysical Research Institute. That is because the 7.8 magnitude April 25 quake was caused by a unidirectional fracture. From the … Continue reading Himalayas: next major quake may be west of the recent one

Sumatra quake: Why there was no tsunami

Published in The Hindu on April 12, 2012 The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initially estimated Wednesday's earthquake off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, at 8.9 magnitude. But it was subsequently lowered to 8.7 and then to 8.6. Similarly, the focus of the quake was first thought to be 33 km from the surface, but … Continue reading Sumatra quake: Why there was no tsunami

Earthquake: unpredictability is its middle name

Published in The Hindu on March 24, 2011 How safe are nuclear plants located in countries that have faults cutting across them or located close to tectonically active regions? How reliable and helpful is seismology (the science of earthquakes) in forecasting the probability of occurrence of damaging quakes? The 6.3 quake that struck Christchurch in … Continue reading Earthquake: unpredictability is its middle name

Editorial: Prediction gets tougher

Published in The Hindu on October 24, 2009 Despite years of unrelenting efforts, predicting earthquakes — the holy grail of seismology — has only got tougher. A series of high magnitude earthquakes that struck different parts of the globe in recent years has made scientists realise that rocks respond to strain and seismic waves in … Continue reading Editorial: Prediction gets tougher

Sumatra earthquake triggered quakes 8,000 km away

Published in The Hindu on October 15, 2009 Large earthquakes have been found to increase the chances of subsequent quakes across the globe. Apart from causing earthquake and tsunami, the seismic waves from the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman quake, which had a magnitude of 9.1, led to weakening, and hence increasing the chances of failure of other … Continue reading Sumatra earthquake triggered quakes 8,000 km away