Mangaluru: Three back-to-back mild to moderate earthquake tremors felt in the past week alone in the Sullia area have created a sense of panic among residents of the Karavali region.
As per geologists, seismic activities have been on the rise. A research paper published by researchers from NITK Surathkal, found that at least 150 instances of mild earthquakes of intensity 2 to 4 on the Richter scale occurred in the 200 years.
Though the State Disaster Management cell issued a clarification saying the earthquakes observed in the region were mild, some experts believe that the intensity might increase in the future. The Mulki-Pulikat lake ridge, on which the Karavali region sits on, causes regular mild tremors, which go largely unnoticed, geologists said.
Increased human activities on the surface, such as mining, deforestation, and heavy constuction activities, may indrectly impact underground layers of the earth, leading to more severe earthquakes in the future, said Dr Gangadhar Bhat, a retired professor of Geology department at Mangalore University.
Thankfully the intensity of the quakes might be capped at 5 on Richter scale. Earthquakes with internsity higher than 5 on Richter scale are highly unlikely, experts said.
However, there needs to be a change in the building codes prescribed for the region, opined Shreyas Chandrashekar, a seismic engineer. A study with a recommendations fo rit has been submitted in 2019, he said.
For now, buildings in theregion are designed conforming to the Indian Standard Code IS18930:2016, which is prescribed for Earthquake Zone 3 regions in the country, he added.