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Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand was hit by a mild earthquake of 3.6 magnitude on the Richter Scale on Friday. The National Center for Seismology (NCS) reported that the earthquake occurred at 12:55 Indian Standard Time (IST).

"Earthquake of Magnitude:3.6, Occurred on 19-08-2022, 12:55:55 IST, Lat: 29.96 & Long: 80.12, Depth: 5 Km, Location: 43km NNW of Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand," the NCS tweeted.

Earlier in the day, NCS had tweeted about another earthquake of magnitude 3.1 on the Richter Scale that hit South-Southwest of Jammu and Kashmir's Hanley village.

The tweet read, "Earthquake of Magnitude:3.1, Occurred on 19-08-2022, 12:02:14 IST, Lat: 31.89 & Long: 78.67, Depth: 5 Km ,Location: 92km SSW of Hanley, Jammu & Kashmir, India," NCS tweeted.

Both the places that recorded seismic activity lie in the Zone-5 of of Indian seismic zonal map signifying that both the places are at very high risk in terms of vulnerability to earthquakes.

Seismic zones of India
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Seismic zones of India (NIDM)

Himalayas are prone to earthquakes

The Himalayan mountain range owes its origin to tectonic plate movements thus it is prone to earthquakes. The Eurasian and the Indian plates collided to form the highest mountain rage of the world.

Tectonic plate movement that led to formation of Himalayas
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Tectonic plate movement that led to formation of Himalayas (USGS)

A we trace the history of the Himalayas, 40-50 million years ago, the Indian and Eurasian plates collided due to tectonic forces. The Eurasian plate was partly crumpled and buckled up above the Indian plate but due to their low density/high buoyancy neither continental plate could be subducted. This caused the continental crust to thicken due to folding and faulting by compressional forces pushing up the Himalaya and the Tibetan Plateau.

The tectonic movement of the plates continue even now at times causing the compresssional forces to cause tremors in the places along the Himalayas.

With inputs from ANI.

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