Earthquake of 3.8 magnitude hits off West Coast of Palghar, Maharashtra

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On the 22nd of September 2023 at 17:09:16 IST, an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.8 on the Richter scale occurred. The epicenter of the earthquake was located at latitude 19.49 and longitude 72.27, at a depth of 10 kilometers. The earthquake took place 78 kilometers northwest of Mumbai, India. J L Gautam, a scientist affiliated with the National Centre for Seismology (NCS), provided detailed information about the earthquake, stating that it happened at 5.19 pm. Palghar, which falls within Zone 3 of the seismic zoning map established by the Bureau of Indian Standards, is classified as an area prone to seismic activity.

According to Deepankar Choudhury, a civil engineer at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-Bombay), this classification implies that structures in this region must be able to withstand earthquakes ranging in intensity from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Medvedev-Sponheuer-Karnik (MSK) scale. Unlike the magnitude scale, which measures the energy released during an earthquake, the MSK scale assesses the qualitative experience of the event. During seismic events within the 5.5-6.5 MSK intensity range, individuals typically experience fear and seek shelter outdoors, while heavy furniture may shift.

Adhering to the construction codes set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) can significantly increase the likelihood of buildings surviving both minor tremors and more significant seismic events. Therefore, strict compliance with these codes is crucial for protecting lives and property in Palghar.