Experts say quake can’t be predicted

Rebuff rumours of one occurring immediately

Kathmandu, June 15:

People working on earthquake technology today brushed aside rumours that a devastating quake is hitting Nepal this month.

They, however, acknowledged the fact that the country could witness a massive quake any

time due to its geological position.

Speaking at an interaction organised by the National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET), Amod Mani Dixit, the executive director of NSET, said there is no scientific base on which an earthquake may be predicted in a short time frame. “Science has not developed that far and, therefore, such predictions and rumours are fake.”

Nepal’s geological positioning is a great threat for the country when it comes to earthquakes, said Surya Narayan Shrestha, the deputy executive director of the NSET. “Nepal lies in the border between the two giant Indian and Tibetan plates and a motion created by the plates could cause earthquakes here any time,” he said.

“Nepal takes the 11th place in the list of earthquake-prone places in the world,” he added.

Referring to the past earthquake history of Nepal, Shrestha said a massive quake has taken place in Nepal once in around 80 to 90 years.

“Taking this record into account, we can say it is time for another great earthquake, though we can’t say for sure when that will be,” he said.

A research conducted by the NSET has shown that 40,000 deaths are likely and 700,000 could be rendered homeless if an earthquake is to hit the Kathmandu Valley.

“The earthquake is not a killer in itself; we humans are responsible for creating the harmful situation,” Dixit further said. Stating that haphazardly constructed buildings largely cause death and destruction, he said: “In the Valley alone, 60 per cent of the houses have not followed earthquake preventive measures.”

Dixit said there is a need of awareness among the people. Also required is a basic knowledge of earthquake preparedness to minimise the destruction of earthquake, he added.

“Earthquakes can’t be prevented and all we can do is protect ourselves from them,” he said.