Himalayan belt most prone to quake: Experts

22/Oct/2019 Tribune News Service

SHIMLA: Experts today cautioned Himachal to take effective mitigation measures against earthquake as the most densely populated areas of Kangra, Mandi, Chamba and Shimla were hot spots for seismic activity.

“There has been huge energy accumulation in this seismic gap for the last hundreds of years and with there being no major tremor in the last 70 years, the the chances of a major earthquake in this belt has been enhanced manifold,” remarked Ravi Kumar Sinha, from the Department of Structural Engineering, IIT Mumbai. He said the fact that there had been no major earthquake after the 1905 Kangra quake, makes the entire Himalayan belt the most vulnerable.

He said the threat was not just a theoretical projection by experts but there was real risk based on strong scientific data and analysis. “Based on the 2011 census, we analyzed the extent of damage that Himachal would face in case of a projected earthquake of eight magnitude and the results were quite alarming,” he said.

Kamal Kishore, Member, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), said the hill states would have to be very pro-active to be able to minimise loss from earthquakes, flash floods, cloud bursts or any other disaster. “The challenges before the hill states is to undertake development and job creation as per the aspiration and expectations of the people, ensuring reliable physical and communication connectivity and be prepared for the highly localized disasters which would have a cascading effect,” he said, adding that the only answer to minimizing fatality and losses in any disaster was to have critical infrastructure of the best possible standard, reliable and good connectivity, setting up of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and most importantly developing community level disaster response in the remote and rural areas.