India Meteorological Department on Wednesday said that an earthquake measuring 5.9 on Richter scale hit northeastern states with its epicenter some 40 kms from Arunachal Pradesh’s Itanagar. The same day, two moderate earthquakes of magnitudes 5.2 and 4.3 struck Nepal, 75 kms from Kathmandu. Scientists have reiterated that a major earthquake of 8.5 magnitude is long overdue in Himalayan region. Jammu and Kashmir state that rests on a major fault line is likely to be affected if such an earthquake strikes. The last time an alert on earthquake was sounded in the state was in year 2015 when a 7.5 magnitude quake caused destruction in at least three countries – India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. About 100 people were killed by the quake. In the same year, Nepal was jolted with huge destruction recorded in the Himalayan country. In the last four years minor jolts have been felt in Kashmir valley, yet authorities should not snub it and ignore the predictions of seismic experts. There are several regions in Jammu and Kashmir that fall under Seismic Zones IV and V. The vulnerable zones include Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla in the north, Srinagar in central Kashmir and Anantnag in the south of Kashmir, besides the regions of Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar. These regions also have some of the high density by population districts in the state. Experts who study seismic activity in north Indian states say that two colliding tectonic plates, the Indian plate which runs its length in India and Pakistan and the larger tectonic plate Eurasian plate that runs from Europe to Russia, are responsible for quakes here and even the formation of Himalayas. As a report published in this newspaper on Wednesday highlights, J&K state may be badly hit, and the state may not be prepared to deal with a major earthquake or its aftershocks. Both the preparedness before a disaster strikes and the capability of the state to recuperate defines how the state will fare in case of an eventuality. Despite the assurances of the state government, disaster management has been vexing the concerned people. The administration needs to take note of violations of building norms as high rise buildings are said to have come up in the last few years. Keeping in view the forecast of seismic experts, the buildings near human population should be able to withstand the 8.5 magnitude shock. There is also the need to carry out the assessment of buildings in terms of their bearing strength in vulnerable areas of the state.