on Friday experienced its strongest tremors, 4.3 on the Richter scale, since the phenomenon resumed there last November. A 4-4.9 Richter magnitude causes none to minimal damage, though some objects may fall off shelves or be knocked over.
The epicentre of the Friday quake was Dhundalwadi village, . Tremors, varying in magnitude, were felt up to Umbergaon village in . Mild tremors were reported from some areas in Mumbai and Thane as well. In Palghar, where a two-year-old girl died last February while fleeing from shaking ground and tripping on a rock, the first tremors on Friday were felt at 11.08am, with a depth of 5km and of magnitude 3.2, and the second at 11.14am, of magnitude 4.3.
“These were the largest tremors in Palghar recorded so far,” said K S Hosalikar from the meteorological department. “A meeting has been called next week, involving all authorities, including officials from our seismograph department.”
Students in Dahanu and Talasari talukas were writing their SSC exams when the tremors began. The exams continued, though tarpaulin sheds have been erected outside test centres in case evacuation is necessary in the future. A local, Shailesh Gawli, said people in the area have got used to tremors as a part of life.
Two engineers from the National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, are stationed in Dahanu to study the tremors.
The National Centre of Seismology, Delhi, said last month that historically, earthquakes of small magnitudes have occurred for periods of 3-4 months on several occasions in central-west India. It said such activity is categorized as ‘‘, and no large quakes have occurred in such areas. “However,” the centre warned, “due to the complexity of earthquake-occurrence processes, it won‘t be possible to declare whether the ongoing sequence may or may not lead to a large-magnitude earthquake in the future. This is to submit that earthquake prediction is not possible as of today. No proven scientific technique is available in any part of the world to predict future quakes precisely with regards to space, time and magnitude.”
The centre went on to say in its statement, “Hence, civil and housing structures are to be properly engineered as per earthquake-resistant building codes specified by the Bureau of Indian standards.”
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