Pala: Tremors reported from the Meenachil area in the north-eastern part of Kottayam district on Wednesday have given rise to an uneasy calm amid swirling rumours of the durability of the Mullaperiyar Dam not far away.
However, allaying fears former researcher John Mathai of the National Centre for Earth Science Studies (NCESS) said tremors measuring less than three were not of concern.
Mild tremors were felt at three villages, Edamattom, Bharananaganam and Panackapalam in Pala around noon on Wednesday. Seismographs at Idukki recorded the magnitude of the tremor at 1.7.
Mathai said the tremor could be the result of earth releasing the additional pressure exerted on it by the continuing torrential rains.
The geologist, however, added that further studies were required.
If rains had caused the tremor, there won't be further incidents, he said. Aftershocks could be possible if it was caused by the shifting of seismic plates.
The sky was clear on Wednesday when the tremor, centred at Poovarani, was felt. A rumble was also reported besides the tremor from the surrounding areas.
The tremor was confirmed around 2 pm after the KSEB's seismograph at Idukki recorded it. Aftershocks were not reported.
The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) received information on the tremor, recorded at 12.02 pm, from Delhi. The tremor has caused fissures on the walls of two houses at Ward 10 of Meenachil panchayat. The houses belong to Thevarolil Hari and Aaloth Joychan.
Idukki centre equipped to record mild tremors
The Seismic observatory in Idukki has advanced equipment that can record even mild tremors occurring in any part of the State. The centre recorded the magnitude of Wednesday's tremor at 1.7.
The latest, modern equipment at Chottupara was installed by the Delhi-based National Center for Seismology.
Meanwhile, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) is set to conduct a micro earthquake (MEQ) study at Idukki reservoir. Several mild tremors have been reported from the vicinity of the dam of late. Adding to worries, 10 small dams exist in the 40km radius of the reservoir.