Tuesday October 17, 2017
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Quake jolts north India, over 100 killed in Pakistan

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New Delhi: An earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter Scale and with its epicentre in Afghanistan shook large parts of north India, causing widespread panic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately offered help to Afghanistan and Pakistan where over 100 people were reportedly killed.

According to The Express Tribune, the death toll in Pakistan has risen to 110

Hundreds of thousands of people fled out of their houses and offices in Delhi and adjoining areas as well as in parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. There were no reports of casualties but there was major damage to property in Kashmir.

The tremors, around 2.40 p.m., were distinctly felt for 30-40 seconds, shaking high-rise buildings all across north India. The epicentre of the quake lay in Jarm in Afghanistan, 256 km northeast of Kabul.

Most multi-storey public and private buildings in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, suffered huge cracks. Dozens of houses and school buildings collapsed in southern and central parts of the Kashmir Valley, officials and residents said.

Traffic came to an abrupt halt as vehicles started swinging on shaking roads in the valley. A traffic flyover in Srinagar developed cracks.

Prime Minister Modi said India was ready to provide help to Kabul and Islamabad.

“Heard about strong earthquake in Afghanistan-Pakistan region whose tremors have been felt in parts of India. I pray for everyone’s safety,” he tweeted.

“I have asked for an urgent assessment, and we stand ready for assistance where required, including Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked people not to panic and said disaster management teams had been activated.

Among the first to tweet in the Modi government was Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who said as if someone with a firm hand was moving her chair.

“Massive, massive… praying,” is how Delhi’s Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra reacted.

As the tremors began, Delhi Metro immediately halted its services all across the capital and in the neighbouring regions of Gurgaon in Haryana and Noida in Uttar Pradesh. Jaipur Metro too followed suit.

A Delhi Metro spokesman told IANS that the services were resumed after officials did a quick check for possible damage to infrastructure and rail tracks.

The worst hit were Afghanistan and Pakistan. There were no immediate reports of casualties from Afghanistan but Pakistani officials said around 13 people had been killed in different parts of the country.

India’s ambassador in Kabul, Amar Singh, told IANS over telephone that he had no report of any casualty or damage to property among Indians.

Afghanistan soon felt a major aftershock — measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale.

The quake was felt in most of the northern parts of Pakistan including major cities like Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Sargodha and Kohat, Dawn and other Pakistani media quoted officials as saying.

Four people were killed in the Bajaur tribal region near the Afghanistan border after buildings collapsed in the area.

A child was killed in Kallar Kahar in Chakwal district and six people were killed in Swat Valley. One woman died in Sargodha in Punjab when a wall collapsed, also injuring 10 people. A man was killed in Kasur district.

At least 200 people were admitted to a hospital in Swat and another 100 in a Peshawar hospital, officials said.

Dunya News said a part of Bala Hissar fort in Peshawar had been damaged.

Pakistan puts its army on alert, and directed it to carry out immediate rescue work in affected areas without waiting for formal orders.

Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa tweeted that army teams had been sent out for a quick assessment of earthquake damages across the country.

All command military hospitals were placed on high alert.

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Researchers Suggest Studying Aquifer Water Levels in the Himalayas to Predict an Earthquake

Whenever earthquakes occur, widespread cracks and deformations on the earth's surface are common, resulting in changes in groundwater levels, believe researchers

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Can water levels in the foothills of Himalayas forewarn about earthquakes? The blinking red light on a seismograph shows the epicentre of an earthquake. (representational image) Wikimedia

Bengaluru, October 16, 2017 : Continuous monitoring of water levels in the foothills of the Himalayas can warn about an impending earthquake in the region, which is due for a major temblor.

This recommendation to the Ministry of Earth Sciences has come from Ramesh Singh, professor of environmental sciences at California’s Chapman University, who is also president of the Natural Hazards Group of the American Geological Union.

Singh says the utility of monitoring the water levels of underground aquifers for predicting earthquakes in quake-prone regions has been confirmed from analysis of water level data in a bore hole collected during the earthquake that rocked Nepal’s Gorkha district on April 25, 2015.

The findings of the study carried out by Singh and three seismologists from China have recently been published in the journal Techtonophysics.

The Gorkha quake, one of the deadliest in Nepal, killed about 5,000 people mainly in Nepal, a few in bordering India, two in Bangladesh and one in China, and injured about 9,200 people.

Whenever earthquakes occur, widespread cracks and deformations on the earth’s surface are common, resulting in changes in groundwater levels, Singh told this correspondent in an email.

In China, many parameters are being monitored in water wells, including water level, water temperature, and water radon concentrations to detect any signal prior to an impending earthquake.

According to the scientists, due to seismic wave propagation, the volume of an aquifer expands and contracts, forming fractures that change the water flow in a bore well sunk into the aquifer.

In the case of the Gorkha quake, the scientists considered the water level in a bore well — called “Jingle” well — atop an aquifer in China’s Shanxi province, 2,769 kilometres from the temblor’s epicenter. The data was analysed soon after the Nepal earthquake.

A “spectrum analysis” of the co-seismic response of the bore hole water level showed large amplitude oscillations with a maximum peak-to-peak value of about 1.75 metres associated with ground vibrations generated by the earthquake, says their report.

In addition, the analysis revealed the arrival of a possible precursor wave at the “Jingle” well about 6.5 hours prior to the actual occurrence.

ALSO READ Indian Seismologist Arun Bapat had Predicted China Earthquake on August 8

“The study of co-seismic changes in groundwater has emerged as an important research area which can provide an improved understanding of earthquake processes and corresponding changes in surface and subsurface parameters,” Singh said.

Water level data in close proximity to the epicenter may be of great importance in getting early warning signals of an impending earthquake, he said. China and the United States routinely monitor aquifer water levels at 15-minute intervals.

In the light of the finding, Singh said that “India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences may consider deploying water level sensors in the Himalayan foothills areas, which may provide valuable information about an impending earthquake in the Himalayan region, which is due for a major earthquake.”

Such data, he added, “is also useful in understanding the dynamic nature of the Indian plate”.

However Arun Bapat, former head of Earthquake Engineering Research at the Central Water and Power Research Station in Pune, says he has some reservations about the study’s conclusion that water level changes observed in the bore hole were the warning signal for the Gorkha earthquake.

“Various effects associated with a large earthquake (Magnitude 7.5 or more) such as electrical, magnetic, geological, tectonic, hydraulic, radioactivity, etc., have been observed within about 600 to 800 km from the epicenter (but not beyond),” Bapat told IANS.

Bapat said the magnitude of the Gorkha quake was about 6.5 to 6.75 which is considered as moderate. “The effect of this quake on water level changes at a distance of 2,769 kilometres from its epicenter is almost not possible.” (IANS)

 

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5 Found Dead Inside a House in Mansarovar Park Delhi

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Police team conducts the investigation soon after the incident was reported. ians

New Delhi, October 7: Police found five people stabbed to death Inside a House in Mansarovar Park Delhi. The dead bodies of a an 82-year-old woman, her three daughters and a male guard were found lying inside a house here on Saturday.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Nupur Prasad told IANS that the four women belonging to the Jindal family were found dead at their house in Shahdara’s Mansarovar Park area.

The deceased have been identified as Urmila Jindal, and her daughters Sangeeta, 56, Nupur, 48, and Anjali, 38. The guard has been identified as Rakesh, 42.

The police control room received a call about the incident around 7 a.m.

A preliminary investigation showed there was “no forced entry” into the house and no valuables were stolen, a police officer said. (IANS)

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Srinagar: Restrictions on Muharram Processions to Avoid Separatist Violence

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Restrictions imposed in Srinagar ahead of Muharram protests.
Restrictions imposed in Srinagar ahead of Muharram protests. ians

Srinagar, Sep 29: Authorities imposed restrictions on Muharram processions in parts of Srinagar on Friday, to prevent any violence in the valley. Starting from the Guru Bazar locality, the Shia procession would end at the Dalgate area.

After separatist violence started in Kashmir, authorities have not allowed the procession since 1990.

Police and paramilitary, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear were deployed in the suspected areas to put restrictions on Muharram processions.The pedestrian and vehicular movement was also suspended.

Life in other areas of Srinagar and elsewhere in the Kashmir Valley, however, remained normal. (IANS)