Urban earthquake vulnerability project in 38 cities

March 11th, 2008 - 11:51 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) To reduce the vulnerability of 38 cities falling in seismic hazard zones, the government is to set up an Urban Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction project under which response teams will be formed and architects trained on safe construction practices. Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal told the Lok Sabha Tuesday that the government would be soon implementing an Urban Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction Project in 38 cities falling in Seismic Zones III to V and having a population of 500,000 or more.

The project aims at reducing the vulnerability of these cities to earthquakes by preparation of response plans at various levels and training of architects and engineers in seismic safe construction practices, he said.

He said, however, no earthquake forecasting centre has been established since it is not yet possible, anywhere in the world, to forecast earthquake.

But said 67 earthquake monitoring centres are in operation across the country to detect and locate earthquakes occurring in and around the country.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has laid down guidelines for the management of earthquakes in April 2007, he added.

The guidelines prescribe measures for central ministries and departments and state governments to prepare disaster management plans having specific components on earthquake risk management.

NDMA is also planning to initiate a National Earthquake Risk Mitigation Project during the 11th Five Year Plan to address the needs of capacity building of 90,000 engineers, 24,000 architects and others, Sibal said.

It will also create public awareness on earthquake risk and vulnerability, strengthen enforcement and regulation of building byelaws and earthquake resistant building codes.

The project will also strengthen the emergency response capabilities in the country and carry out the structural safety audit of district hospitals in the 229 district hospitals in seismic zones IV and V.

The minister said India’s disaster forecast centres are adequate to cater to the requirements of the country.

Under the Cyclone Warning System, six centres have been established in the country covering both East and West coasts, while the Early Warning System for Tsunami has started functioning from the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) in Hyderabad, which is an early warning centre for Tsunami covering the entire coastline of the country, Sibal said.

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