Experts said that it was a minor issue which could have happened due to limestone mining.

Mild tremors trigger panic in Andhra town experts call it a shallow quakeImage for representation purpose only.
news Earthquake Sunday, January 13, 2019 - 17:47

Panic was triggered among the residents of Piduguralla in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur district, as four mild tremors in the span of 30 minutes were reported on Saturday.

According to reports, the town experienced tremors between 3.50 pm and 4.20 pm.Residents from localities such as Lenin Nagar, Mahaveer Nagar, Pathagadda and Cheruvu Katta came out into streets in fear.

A shopkeeper told local media persons following the tremors that were “like an earthquake, there were four tremors in the span of 20 minutes. Things in the shop fell, and everyone came out of their homes due to fear”.

According to Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management (APDSMA) authorities, districts in Coastal Andhra Pradesh such as Guntur fall under the category of moderate seismic zones.

Speaking to TNM, Emergency Operation Centre in charge of APDSMA Kishan Sunku said that certain areas in Telangana and along the Andhra Pradesh coast are in seismic zone 3, which is moderate risk zone. He said, “the sensors we have here couldn't recognize very low magnitude tremors”.

According to the National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad, the epicentre was near Piduguralla around 3.51:51 pm with a magnitude of 2.2 on the Richter scale. The National Disaster Management Authority Earthquake Zone map identifies Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and other coastal districts as III Moderate Damage Risk Zone.

Pidiguralla is known for massive limestone quarrying in the region of Gurazala, and is often embroiled in the state’s political controversies.

Experts called it a “shallow quake” and opined that it was a minor issue which could have happened due to limestone mining.

Speaking to TNM, Jagannadha Rao, senior professor of Geology at Andhra University, said that the area has extensive minerals such as rock lineaments which are 'geologically weaker zones'. “These geologically weak might have been disturbed due to extensive legal and illegal limestone mining in the region,” while stating that it was a 'shallow quake' which took place due to 'readjustment in the sub-surface strata'.

Mild tremors were reported in Prakasam district and parts of Guntur districts in 2015, and at the time,  the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) observatory in Hyderabad found that the quake had a magnitude of 4 on the Richter scale, and its epicentre was near Ongole in Prakasam district.