Several parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat woke up to two mild earthquakes, measuring 4.5 and 4.9 on the Richter scale on Saturday morning. The tremors were felt at about 8.53 am in Bhuj, Gujarat, while slightly stronger tremors at around 11.05 am shook several parts of Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara, and other surrounding areas.
However, officials from the seismology department of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, said that if any disturbance is felt in Koyna dam in Satara, which is earthquake-prone, then the city might feel slight tremors again. But in that case too, the tremors, whose magnitude will be less than three on the Richter scale, will be slight.
“Koyna dam is a naturally cold and earthquake-prone area. If the earthquake had to happen, it would have taken place when we felt the major tremors. Since it hasn’t, there’s no need to panic. We are still awaiting details of the impact of these two tremors, but since there are no reports of any human casualties or damage, there is no need to panic,” said MT Jadhav, deputy director, IMD Pune.
Scientists have also denied that the tremors felt here had anything to do with the 8.7 magnitude earthquake that rocked Sumatra, Indonesia on Wednesday. According to RS Dattatreya, scientist and director of the Institute of Seismology Department New Delhi, when a massive earthquake is felt in one place, it can change the equilibrium state of the regions around it and can induce triggering mechanisms in nearby areas.
Last Wednesday, Mumbai and Thane had experienced mild tremors after an earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale was recorded in Thane, which coincided with the one in Indonesia. “There has been a stress in the tectonic plate, which is causing the disturbance. Since areas like the Himalayas, Gujarat, Koyna and Maharashtra are technically active, the tremors were felt. But the tremors might not have any correspondence with the quake in Indonesia as there are various sources and mechanisms of earthquakes. We are however still investigating the matter and monitoring the weather round the clock,” said Dattatreya.