Quake-prone Delhi lacks safety measures: ExpertSeptember 8th, 2011 - 8:42 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) With Wednesday night’s earthquake still haunting many in north India, a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) official said the temblor was just a reminder of the vulnerability of Delhi and neighbouring areas which lack safety measures.
According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), the 4.2 Richter scale quake shook Delhi and neighbouring areas at 11.28 p.m. The epicentre of the quake was in Sonepat in Haryana, about 90 km from Delhi.
The NDMA official said Thursday that Delhi was in a high-risk seismic zone prone to earthquakes measuring 7-7.5 on the Richter scale.
“If such a high intensity earthquake comes, we have no safety measures implemented,” the NDMA official, pleading anonymity, told IANS.
“The national capital is about 300 km from the Himalayan collision zone but the tremors there could have an effect here,” he said.
The Yamuna river and the adjoining areas have a high risk of earthquake. East and northeast Delhi are the most vulnerable because the soil in these areas is alluvial (smooth and unconsolidated).
According to B.R. Vaidya, director, seismology department, IMD, a project was underway to identify the maximum risk areas.
“Usually the area along rivers is more vulnerable because of the loose soil… the water content in the soil also matters,” Vaidya said.
He said an earthquake above 5 Richter scale can cause major damage in the national capital.
The NDMA official added that there was a need for a re-look at Delhi’s town planning.
“After Gujarat earthquake in 2001, the town planning there has been tremendously changed but Delhi, which is prone to frequent mild tremors, is yet to learn its lessons,” he said.
“It is high time we constructed earthquake-resistant buildings. Not just the centre, but state governments should also bring in stringent building by-laws,” he said.
“Senseless construction of buildings should be avoided and at least one foot distance between two building should be maintained. Multi-storeyed buildings are dangerous,” the NDMC official added.
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Tags: collision zone, construction of buildings, disaster management, earthquake resistant buildings, gujarat earthquake, high intensity, india meteorological department, loose soil, maximum risk, national disaster, ndma, neighbouring areas, north india, richter scale, safety measures, seismic zone, seismology department, sonepat, state governments, yamuna river