The tectonic shift that caused the 6.8 magnitude earthquake which jolted much of India's northeast on Sunday could be an indication of more threatening earthquakes to come, the Indian Express reported on Tuesday.
The quake, epicentred in the Indian Himalayan state of Sikkim, killed at least 67 people and was felt in neighbouring China, Nepal and Bangladesh. Authorities warn the death toll will increase as rescuers still battle poor weather and blocked roads to get to the worst-hit areas.
According to the report, experts believe the movement of tectonic plates which caused the quake was unusual for the region -- shifting sideways as opposed to under one another -- adding that it could mean future earthquakes will have a much bigger impact.
"I think that is one thing that must be looked into," said S.K. Nath, professor of geology and geophysics at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur in India's West Bengal state.
"This quake affected not just Sikkim but many other heavily populated towns and cities in West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh. Himalayan quakes can go up to nine or above in magnitude," Nath was quoted as saying. "In such eventualities, the threats come directly to mega-cities like Kolkata or even Dhaka.”