Earthquake in Kangra valley

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By : Mohan Verma

The Kangra valley including Dharamshala, Palampur besides Chamba and Holi areas of Himachal Pradesh received tremor shocks late Tuesday night for few seconds, which measured 4.2 on the Richter scale.

Dr. Susheel Kumar Head Geophysics Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology at Dehradun told that the tremor was experienced at 11:01 P.M. with its epicenter 40 kms South of Chamba of this hill state.

He said that it was a mild earthquake which triggered in Kangra district with geographical location 32 North and 76.2 East, which lasted for few seconds. He said that the tremor was experienced at Palampur, Dharamshala, Mcleodganj, Chamba, Holi and higher reaches under the foot hills of Dhauladhar mountain range besides the Kangra valley and Chamba district.

As the tremor was experienced the people rushed out of their houses in panic when the windows and doors rattled. The people in multistory buildings in Kangra and other towns experienced tremors with more intensity.

A mild earthquake was also experienced in valley on yesterday morning at 7:30 A.M. which lasted for few seconds.

Deputy Commissioner Kangra C.Paulrasu told that no immediate loss of life or property was received from anywhere in Kangra district following the earthquake. According to few reports, some houses in the higher reaches of Kangra and Chamba districts developed cracks.

Kangra valley falls in seismic zone V. On April 4, 1905 Kangra valley experienced a major earthquake which measured 7.8 on the surface wave magnitude  scale and killed more than 20,000 people. Apart from this, most of the buildings in this temple town, Mcleodganj and Dharamshala were destroyed.

As many as 1,00,000 buildings were reported to have been demolished by the earthquake. At least 20,000 people were estimated to have been killed and 53,000 domestic animals were also lost. There was also major damage to the network of hillside aqueducts that fed water to the affected area. The total cost of recovering from the effects of the earthquake was calculated as 2.9 million rupees in 1905.

Despite Kangra valley being in the seismic zone V, the multistory buildings are coming up without any check from the government in different parts of the Kangra valley.