<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During his recent visit to India, eminent geologist Iain Stewart paid a visit to Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College, where he spoke about potential natural disaster risks India faces. Stewart was on a lecture tour across India covering eight cities, organised by the British Council of India.Stewart, often described as the rock star of Geology, focuses on building communication bridges to spread awareness on the natural risks of life on the planet. India has two levels of risks, Stewart said at the event. “Over the centuries, foothills of the Himalayas have had several big earthquakes. In peninsular India you can get rogue events like the 1983 Latur quake or the Bhuj earthquake in 2001. But, in terms of risks, the real threat lies in the Himalayan region. If the Himalayan earthquakes are big enough, they can rattle some big cities in India, including Delhi” says Stewart.According to Steward, while India has some fantastic earthquake specialists, his major concern is public preparedness for a potential earthquake or a tsunamis or super cyclones that Mumbai may be predisposed to.“Climate change is altering the storm paths and intensities of cyclones, so the risk factor goes up. We already know that the Indian Ocean can have tsunamis. But the public, already grappling with manyissues, will probably get tired if we talk about a greater tsunami risk. They would just add it to the list as they go about managing their day-to-day struggles. This makes communicating the risks a major challenge,” he points out.A Fellow of the Geological Society of London and President of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, he teaches Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth. Stewart has also hosted programmes for the BBC, including the BAFTA-nominated Earth: The Power of the Planet.

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Himalayan earthquakes can rattle big cities: Iain Stewart