Karnataka Govt: Quake did not cause landslides

Mysuru: Responding to a report by the Deccan Chronicle on the government’s lack of urgency following an earthquake measuring 3.4 on the richter scale in Kodagu on July 9 this year, Principal Secretary and Relief Commissioner, revenue department (disaster management) Gangaram Baderia claimed on Thursday that it had not  ignored it and it was not the cause of the recent major landslides and floods in Kodagu.

“Immediately after the earthquake was reported by the Kodagu district administration, the government sent scientific teams to study it. The recent landslides in Kodagu are not earthquake induced but attributed to prolonged , high intensity and above normal rainfall during the pre- monsoon period and the South West Monsoon from June 1,” he said, adding that the tremor in Kodagu on  July 9  at 12:52:17 pm, was of  low magnitude and had its epicentre in zone 2, categorized as a low earthquake damage risk zone by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

“This is clearly visible in the intensity map of the said tremor on the website of the IMD, Ministry of Earth Sciences. It shows the epicentre of the tremor was light in intensity with no potential for damage. The IMD too has clearly indicated that it did not have any potential to cause damage,” he maintained.

Going by the official, scientists of the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), Bengaluru, and geologists from the Geographical Survey of India (GSI) and the department of mines and geology visited Kodagu to study the tremor on  July 25 and on the instructions of the Chief Secretary another  team of three scientists from the National Geographical Research Institute, Hyderabad (CSIR-NGRI) also visited  it to survey the area and set up a temporary Seismic Monitoring Observatory about 8kms from Madikeri to closely monitor seismic activity in and around it. 

“The geotechnical team explained that landslides cannot always be attributed to tremors. Earthquake- induced landslides generally occur immediately after a tremor. The North Koyna region of Maharashtra’s Sahyadri mountains, which are also part of the Western Ghats, experiences similar tectonic, geologic and geographic environment changes and frequent low magnitude tremors, which do not trigger landslides,” Mr Baderia said. 

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