Magnitude 8 Earthquake Can Hit the Himalayas Anytime Soon
Drastic changes in the behavior of the Earth and its natural processes have caused an alarm for scientists and researchers. A recent report predicted that the Himalayas may experience an 8 magnitude earthquake from the Ruasi fault line.
The University of Oregon just finished a new geologic mapping project of the Himalayas and based from their findings, a looming earthquake may occur any time soon. The Ruasi fault line is a known in the Indian Kashmir region. Since it was revisited, the threat it poses to the residents was revealed.
After the 7.6 magnitude earthquake on the other side of Kashmir in 2005, researchers began revisiting fault lines in the area, including the Ruasi fault near the Himalayas. Researchers found out that the fault line is experiencing pressure build up for some time already. The result could be an enormous 8 magnitude earthquake or even greater.
"What we found was that the Ruasi fault is one of the main active faults in Kashmir, but there is a lack of earthquakes in the more recent geologic record" said Yann Gavillot, lead author of the study in a statement, as reported by Science Daily.
Oregon University's News and Research Communications team also released the findings of the study.
"In actuality, the lack of major earthquakes heightens the likelihood that seismic risk is high" said Andrew Meigs, a geology professor in OSU's College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, in a press release.
Researchers also added that although the Ruasi fault is not present in most hazard maps for potentially dangerous fault lines, those maps weren't designed to predict future seismic activities. And with constant movement of the earth's tectonic plates, it is not surprising that silent fault line may move.
The team from Oregon University studied the behavior of the Ruasi fault for the least 'tens of thousands of years', its former movements and difference between the tremors.
"There are also several dams on the Chenab River near the fault, and a major railroad that goes through or over dozens of tunnels, overpasses and bridges...The potential for destruction is much greater than the 2005 earthquake" said lead author Yann Gavillot in a statement published by Gizmodo.
Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir have a combined population of 1.5 million with 700,000 people living in towns directly within the fault line. If the magnanimous earthquake occurs they are the people who will be displaced and harmed.