A moderate earthquake measuring 3.8 on Richter scale rocked several districts in the State, mostly coastal parts, on Monday morning causing panic among the people who ran out of their homes.

It occurred at 11.53 am and the epicentre was 20 km West of Narsaraopeta. The epicentre lay on Gundlakamma Fault, which runs from Ongole in the northwest south-eastern direction towards Nagarjunasagar and ends much before the reservoir. The tremors were felt in Prakasam, Guntur, Krishna, Khammam and Nalgonda districts, besides at Hayathnagar on the outskirts of the State capital.

The temblor occurred in the shear zone to the east of Kadapa Basin -- at the contact point between the eastern side of Kadapa Basin and Eastern Ghats, according to R.K. Chadha, Chief Scientist and Seismologist at CSIR -- National Geophysical Research Institute.

Describing it as typical moderate seismic activity of the Indian shield, he said the region where the earthquake took place has been seismically active and this was the fourth tremor of magnitude 3 and above in that area during the past one year. "We are going through a seismically active period globally", he added,

Forecasting that small temblors could be expected to occur in the same region in the future, he, however, ruled out the possibility of a major earthquake and added that there was no cause for panic.

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