16 Feb 2023

What Lessons Can We Learn From Turkey and Syria Earthquakes, Which Areas In India Are Prone To High Intensity Quakes, What Is Our Preparedness?

New Delhi: Recently Turkey and Syria were hit by a devastating earthquake that claimed thousands of lives and rendered lakhs homeless. 

The question is: As the intensity and frequency of quakes worldwide is increasing, is there a cause of worry for India. What lessons are there for India from the quake in Syria, Turkey?

If we look at the records of the past few decades, then too, many earthquakes have hit Delhi NCR. The frequency of these earthquakes is gradually increasing. 

Increased frequency of earthquakes in India

There are some specific reasons behind the increased frequency of earthquakes in the country. The country faces frequent earthquakes in the northern and northeastern regions due to the fact that some parts of Nepal and India are situated on the boundary (fault zones) of two great tectonic plates.

The Indian subcontinent has a history of deadly earthquakes. The major reason for the high frequency and intensity of the earthquakes is that the Indian plate is driving into Asia at a rate of approximately 47 mm/year. 

58% of land is vulnerable to earthquakes

Considering the recorded history of earthquakes in the country, a total of 59% of the land mass of India (covering all states of India) is prone to earthquakes of different intensities. 

Total area is divided into 4 seismic zones

As per the seismic zoning map of the country, the total area is classified into four seismic zones. Zone V is seismically the most active region, while zone II is the least. Approximately, 11% of the country falls in zone V, 18% in zone IV,  30% in zone III and remaining in zone II.

These are areas with highest risk 

The areas with the highest risk of suffering earthquakes of high intensity in Zone v are: regions of Kashmir, the Western and Central Himalayas, North and Middle Bihar, the North-East Indian region, the Rann of Kutch and the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands. These areas lie in Very High Damage Risk Zone.

BIS, BMTPC, HUDCO have issued guidelines

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) and Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) etc. have issued guidelines for design and construction of earthquake risk resistant structures to minimize the loss of life and damage to property caused by earthquakes. 

Guidelines are not followed

These guidelines are in wide circulation amongst the administrative authorities responsible for the design and construction of earthquake resistant structures in earthquake prone areas. But in practice these guidelines are not followed. 

One can see haphazard and indiscriminate constructions in almost all quake prone areas of the country that are highly unsafe and lead to large-scale destruction if a high intensity earthquake hits. 

No comments:

Post a Comment