Mega earthquakes

Published: Saturday 15 May 1999

and physicists in Assam have warned that the northeastern parts of India and western Burma are likely to be rocked by mega-earthquakes, measuring about eight on the Richter scale, any time during the next decade. The region is one of the six most earthquake-prone areas in the world with over 100 recorded instances of earthquakes over the past century, measuring seven or more on the Richter scale.

J C Negi, who studied all major tremors that hit the region in the past, said the Northeast had been earlier rocked by a mega-quake measuring 8.4 on the Richter scale in the last decade of the nineteenth century, followed by an equally massive quake on August 15, 1950.

The return period of the earthquakes in this region appeared to be around 50 years. Therefore, there is a distinct possibility of another one by the year 2010 or before.
Negi said that the energy released in the Latur earthquake (measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale) in 1993 was equivalent to only one hydrogen bomb, while the possible quake in the Northeast could be far more destructive, as powerful as 50 hydrogen bombs.

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