Uttrakhand has high probability to witness major earthquake, claim scientists


India, All India

State government have been asked to work towards building tremor-resilient infrastructure and take extra care for designs on hill slopes.

According to scientists, there is a high probability of a major earthquake in Uttarakhand. (Photo: Representational/AP)

Dehradun: A two-day national workshop on disaster resilient infrastructure in the Himalayas concluded on November 23 with scientists highlighting the high probability of a major earthquake in the region.

Scientists participating in the event were unanimous in their view about the high possibility of a devastating earthquake in Uttarakhand, where the last major tremor occurred at least 600 years ago, and asked the state government to work towards building tremor-resilient infrastructure.

In his keynote address, Vinod K Gaur, a professor at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bengaluru, emphasised on the need to create awareness so that quake resistant building techniques are adopted by the people at the grassroots level.

Handbooks can be published for general category houses and made available to all the people, he said.

Noting that Utttarakhand was in the Central Seismic Gap where a high probability exists of a major earthquake, they said it was imperative for disaster mitigation agencies and the state government to take proactive steps for the amelioration of any impending disaster.

The objective of the workshop was to provide a platform to the scientists, research community officials of various departments and professionals to share information, knowledge and suggestions on the subject of disaster resilient construction.

Professor ML Sharma from IIT-Roorkee talked about the status of the current earthquake early warning system that was deployed in Uttarakhand and also underlined the need for expansion of this network.

Scientists also spoke about the extra care that needs to be taken for the design of structures in hill slopes and the implications of wrong design or construction practices. They also stressed on the requirement of specific construction guidelines for hilly regions.

In the concluding session, it was decided that the state would work to the best of its ability to ensure disaster resilience with special emphasis on earthquake resilience. Scientific and academic institutes would collaborate and assist the state government in this effort.