Why Frequent Earthquakes in Delhi?

Delhi-NCR’s Frequent Earthquakes: A Comprehensive Analysis

Frequent Earthquakes

Delhi-NCR, the bustling capital region of India, has been experiencing frequent seismic activities. In a span of just 15 days, the region trembled twice, raising concerns and questions about its seismic vulnerability. This article delves into the reasons behind these frequent tremors and provides a comprehensive understanding of the seismic activity in the region.

Recent Seismic Activities

Recently, an earthquake of magnitude 3.1 struck Haryana’s Faridabad, sending strong tremors through the capital. This was closely followed by a series of quakes in Nepal, the strongest being of magnitude 6.2. Such frequent seismic activities have become a routine affair for Delhi-NCR, making it imperative to understand the underlying causes.

Why is Delhi-NCR So Seismically Active?

  1. Unique Geographical Placement: Delhi’s location is such that it experiences tremors every three to four months. Additionally, any earthquake in the Himalayan region also affects Delhi. The National Centre for Seismology highlighted that the recent quake in Faridabad had its epicentre close to Delhi.
  2. Seismic Zones: India is divided into different seismic zones based on the risk of earthquakes. Delhi-NCR falls into Zone IV, which is considered a ‘high risk’ zone. This means that the region is not only vulnerable to its own seismic activities but also to the ones originating in the Himalayan region.
  3. Tectonic Plate Movements: Earthquakes are primarily caused by the movement of tectonic plates beneath the Earth’s crust. When these plates move against each other, they trigger seismic activities. The Himalayan region, which spans from North India to Northeast India, is particularly vulnerable due to its location on the boundary of two massive tectonic plates. The collision of the Indian plate with the Nepalese plate is responsible for the formation of the Himalayas and also the frequent seismic activities in the region.
  4. Fault Lines: Delhi-NCR has multiple fault lines or weak zones, including the Delhi-Haridwar Ridge, Mahendragarh-Dehradun Subsurface Fault, Moradabad Fault, and Sohna Fault, among others. The presence of these fault lines makes the region susceptible to earthquakes.
  5. Historical Seismic Activities: Over the past 100 years, Delhi has experienced 25 to 30 earthquakes without significant damage. However, its geographical location, lying on the foothills of the Himalayas and between the Himalayas and the Aravalli-Delhi Fold Belt, makes it prone to frequent tremors.
Frequent Earthquakes


While Delhi-NCR’s frequent earthquakes might be a cause for concern, experts suggest that the quakes in the Himalayan region should be more alarming since they can have a more significant impact on towns and cities like Delhi. It’s essential for the authorities to take proactive measures, ensuring that infrastructure in the region is earthquake-resistant and that there are adequate disaster management plans in place.

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