Earthquakes: Why Delhi-NCR is a high risk zone?

By Ajith Vijay Kumar | Last Updated: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 16:22

Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar

New Delhi: The early morning tremors in Delhi-NCR has once again highlighted the need to be get the teeming metropolis prepared for earthquakes, especially because the entire region lies in very sensitive Seismic Zone 4.

The earthquake zoning map of India divides India into 4 seismic zones (Zone 2, 3, 4 and 5). Areas under Zone 5 – western and central Himalayas, North-East and the Rann of Kutch – have the highest level of seismicity.

Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Indo-Gangetic basin, Koyna region of Maharashtra are in Zone 4.

Zoning is as per the number of active fault lines on the earth’s surface that can turn into the epicentre for an earthquake. A fault line is like a joint, a junction. It is the surface trace of a fault in earth’s crust which was formed as a result of a fracture in earth’s rocky crust.

The main cause of earthquakes in the Himalayas and surrounding areas has been the friction between the Indian plate and Eurasian plate.

Movement along the faults releases tremendous amounts of energy causing earthquakes on the surface.

Delhi is particularly vulnerable to a major earthquake as it is situated on top or very near to many active seismic fault lines - the Sohna fault line, Delhi-Haridwar ridge zone, Mahendragarh fault line, Moradabad fault line and Rajasthan boundary fault line.

Given the high-density of population in the Delhi-NCR region, a major quake with its epicentre in the region may cause massive damage to both life and property.

As earthquakes can’t be predicted the only way out to minimise damage is by being prepared.

Earthquakes: Do’s and Don’ts

Before an earthquake:

  • Follow and advocate local safe building codes for earthquake resistant construction.
  • Follow and advocate upgrading poorly built structures.
  • Make plan and preparation for emergency relief.
  • Identify the medical centres, fire fighting stations, police posts and organise relief society of your area.
  • Know the electric and water shut off locations in your house.
  • Heavy objects, glasses, cutlery should be kept in lower shelves.
  • Flower pots should not be kept on the parapet.
    B. During an earthquake:
  • Keep calm and reassure others.
  • During the event, the safest place is an open space, away from buildings.
  • If you are indoors, take cover under a desk, table, bed or doorways and against inside walls and staircase. Stay away from glass doors, glass panes, windows or outside doors. Do not rush to go out of the building, to avoid stampede.
  • If you are outside, move away from buildings and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, stay there till the vibrations stops.
  • If you are in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly as possible and stay in the vehicle.
  • Free all pets and domestic animals so that they can run outside.
  • Do not use candles, matches or other open flames. Put out all fires.

    C. After an earthquake:

  • Keep stock of drinking water, foodstuff and first-aid equipment in accessible place.
  • Do not spread and believe rumours.
  • Turn on your transistor or television to get the latest information/bulletins and aftershock warnings.
  • Provide help to others and develop confidence.
  • Attend the injured persons and give them aid, whatever is possible and also inform hospital.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks as these may strike.
  • Close the valve of kitchen gas stove, if it is on. If it is closed, do not open. Do not use open flames.
  • Do not operate electric switches or appliances, if gas leaks are suspected.
  • Check water pipes, electric lines and fittings. If damaged, shut off the main valves. Do not touch live wires of electricity.
  • If needed, open doors and cup boards carefully as objects may fall.

    (Do’s & Dont’s Information source IMD)

    Also Read: Four earthquakes rattle Delhi-NCR within three hours; no casualties



  • First Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 14:36

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