Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2967

Earthquakes unlikely to visit Bhutan: Japanese geoscientist

[b]Earthquakes unlikely to visit Bhutan: Japanese geoscientist [/b]

By Sankar Ray

Bhutan is seismologically safe, although Sikkim, the North-East and other regions in the Eastern Himalayas are exposed to the risk of major earthquakes – the ones that measure between 6 and 7.9 on Richter scale. This view comes from Dr. Mutsumi Motegi, a Japanese geophysicist who worked for many years with the Geological Survey of Bhutan.

Citing that no major earthquake had hit the landlocked Kingdom for over a century as the seismic active zone moved away by about 180 kilometers from the Himalayan foothills to the Shillong plateau , now the new boundary between the Asian and the Indian sub-continent plates. "This means Bhutan is getting safer," Dr Mortegi told Bhutanese newspaper Kuensel . There were ‘great’ earthquakes ( over 8 on Richter) in Shillong ( 1897; 8.7), northwestern Himalayas(1905 ; 8.6) in Nepal (1934: 8.4) and in eastern Arunachal Pradesh (in 1950; 8.7) but Bhutan was not affected.

Earthquakes along the Shillong plateau area, measuring 7.3 on an average, the Japanese geo-scientist said, occurred six times over the past years.

Share this