HYDERABAD: A report prepared by the International Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad (IIITH) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has highlighted the need for disaster mitigation measures in case of earthquakes, in various cities across the country.
The report points out that as some cities face the grave threat of devastation due to earthquakes not just due to their geographical location in earthquake-prone regions but also due to haphazard constructions over the decades.
IIIT-Hyderabad and NDMA developed Earthquake Disaster Risk Index (EDRI) for 50 cities located in higher seismic zones (Seismic zone IV and V) from across the country along with population density and housing threat factor, to identify the vulnerability of the cities to earthquakes.
In each city, a sample of around 400 buildings were selected in different areas and they were ranked on a scale of 0-100, categorizing the risk as low, medium and high.
It was found that the earthquake vulnerability is low only for seven cities, whereas it is medium for 30 cities and high for 13 cities.
Mitigation measures like earthquake-resistant designing of buildings and proper urban planning play an important role, as more than 90 per cent destruction in the past earthquakes have been due to damage of buildings. Prof R Pradeep Kumar of the Earthquake Engineering Research Centre (EERC) at IIIT Hyderabad was the principal investigator of the project.
He said, “EDRI will help to provide a systematic way to compare the overall earthquake disaster risks across a large number of cities and regions in India; and to create awareness on seismic zones that are under low seismic hazard regions yet poses seismic risk threats and the influencing parameters and it will sensitize policymakers for taking appropriate actions towards reducing the earthquake risks.”
The 13 cities with high earthquake destruction risk are Srinagar, Aizawl, Pithorgarh, Bhagalpur, Panipat, Shimla, Solan, Ratnagiri, Gangtok, Moradabad, Uttarkashi, Nainital and Vijayawada.