A medium-intensity earthquake of magnitude 4.2 on the Richter scale hit several parts of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) on Thursday night, prompting people to rush out of their homes. Strong tremors were felt in Delhi and surrounding areas for several seconds. The earthquake struck at 11:46pm at a depth of 7.5km from the surface. There was no report of any damage to life or property as earthquakes of magnitude four or below hardly cause any damage.
The epicentre of the earthquake was Haryana’s Rewari, according to India’s National Center for Seismology(NCS). “Earthquake tremors in Delhi NCR. Tremors felt in Gurugram, Noida and Ghaziabad. As per the National Centre for Seismology, the epicentre was suggested to be 48 kilometres southwest of Gurugram,” Skymet Weather tweeted.
Delhi, which lies close to a faultline, is susceptible to big earthquakes, geologists say. The city falls in seismic zone IV – a very high-risk zone.
In June, an earthquake of magnitude 2.1 was detected near Delhi. It was the eleventh minor earthquake recorded in and around Delhi since May. On 15 May, a quake of magnitude 2.2 on the Richter Scale hit 13km NW of New Delhi. On May 10 a magnitude 3.4 earthquake shook the national capital, epicentre in Wazirpur area of NCR, which was the strongest this year until the earthquake reported on Thursday. On April 12 and 13 also there were quakes of magnitudes 3.5 and 2.7 respectively in Delhi region.
These recent earthquakes have triggered discussions on the possibility of increased seismicity around Delhi, and fears of an impending big earthquake sometime soon. None of these apprehensions has any scientific basis as rarely has Delhi been the epicentre of any earthquake. Delhi experiences tremors even when an earthquake occurs as far as in Central Asia or the Himalayan ranges, that are seismically the most active regions and because of large population and high density, an earthquake in Delhi sets an alarm.