Earthquake experts to study tectonic movement in Myanmar
A RESEARCH project aiming to gather more accurate data on the movement of tectonic plates in Myanmar will be undertaken across the country until May 2017, according to the Myanmar Earthquake Committee.
Seismographs have been installed across the country starting in May this year. The first equipment went up on the Myanmar-India border, and then further installations were made across Magwe, Sagaing and Mandalay regions, as well as in Shan and Chin states. “Forty-five devices have been installed so far. In November, the remaining 20 devices, which we were unable to install earlier this year due to inaccessibility during the rainy season, will be installed in Chin State,” said U Myo Thant. “We are aiming to examine the rate at which subduction is occurring between two tectonic plates that meet in Myanmar.”
Subduction is a geological process that takes place along boundaries of tectonic plates where one plate moves under another and is forced down into the earth’s mantle.
These areas, known as subduction zones, are hotspots of geological activity and are often where the planet’s most severe earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions occur. Two of Southern Asia’s largest plates abut in Myanmar.
According to U Myo Thant, data will be collected quarterly for a period of one year. If insufficient data has been collected after a year, the project will be extended, he added.
While promoting the importance of the research project, U Myo Thant also stressed the need to undertake earthquake preparedness measures.
“Although our research is important, it is also important to take steps to reduce the destruction caused by earthquake disasters,” he said.
According to a widely recognised earthquake hazard scale, many of Myanmar’s major cities – including Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw, Sagaing, Bago and Taungoo – are located in the highest level 5 earthquake risk category.
The Myanmar Earthquake Committee will undertake the research project in collaboration with the Department of Geology at Mandalay University and the Chinese Academy of Science.
Singu township was one of many damaged by earthquakes in 2012.