Earthquake measuring 3.5 on Richter scale in Kozhikode, Malappuram

Even as the district experienced another mild tremor on Wednesday, experts from the Disaster Management Wing sought to allay public fear about the series of quakes, saying there is no reason to panic.

A three-member team of the Hazard Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Cell began their three-day field inspections of the quake-hit areas in the district from Beypore village.

‘No notable damage’

“There is a lot of panic among the local people, but hardly any damage. All we could spot were existing cracks caused by bad construction on buildings. In some cases, these cracks marginally widened due to the tremors,” Dr. Vijith, Senior GIS Specialist, said.

A series of tremors has hit the district since Sunday, which saw a seismic disturbance measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale here and neighbouring Malappuram.

The areas hit were Kadalundi, Feroke, Chaliyam, Beypore, Nallalam, Payyanikkal and Pandeerankavu in the district.

In the subsequent days, the magnitude of the tremors consistently subsided to 2.2 on the Richter scale experienced in the forenoon in south of Feroke on Wednesday. “Though the magnitude is subsiding, the tremors may probably continue for the next 4 days. The disturbance may be due to the ventilating of a weak zone in the region,” Dr. Vijith said.

The expert will collect a ‘felt report’, that is, field data from the people on their personal experience as to whether they heard any sound or felt the vibrations of the tremors. A report will be filed with the government in a week’s time.

Dr. John Mathai, Scientist and Geosciences expert with the Centre for Earth Science Studies, explained that satellite imagery and geological data confirms the existence of a weak zone in the region.

“Building up of pressure between two discontinuous blocks or slight movement on either side of the fault plane may cause tremors,” Dr. Mathai, who will help the expert team prepare their final report, explained.

He said the ‘main shock’ was on Sunday, and the rest were aftershocks. He seconded the expert team’s view that it would take another four days for the region to reach ‘equilibrium status.’

Experts said there was a linear fault plane from Beypore through Chaliyam till Mukkam. Similar tremors had been recorded in the Kozhikode region in 1960-1964 and around 1984 in Kotooli area here.

Mild tremors were felt for a few seconds in June 2012 and as late as February this year in Feroke, Kadalundi, Beypore, Ramanattukara, Kallayi and Thiruvannur areas.

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