J&K Guv for urgent steps to reduce earthquake risk

Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra stressed on the importance of putting in place State and District Disaster Management plans.

Updated: Oct 13, 2012, 22:35 PM IST

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra on Saturday stressed on the importance of putting in place State and District Disaster Management plans on "urgent" basis to reduce the earthquake risks in the state.

"Since no reliable scientific tools have so far been developed for accurate forecasting of an earthquake, the best option available is to ensure most effective preparedness to mitigate the consequences of any natural or manmade disaster," Vohra said inaugurating a three-day workshop on "Urban Earthquake Disaster Risk Reduction" at Kashmir University.

In this context, he stressed on the vital importance of enlarging awareness about all aspects of disaster preparedness on a continuing basis.

The workshop has been organised by the Kashmir University in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.

The Governor said the entire North West Himalayan Region was seismically vulnerable and Jammu and Kashmir was in seismic zones IV and V while Srinagar was itself in Zone V and has witnessed several earthquakes in the past.

The 2005 Uri earthquake had resulted in over 76,000 killed and over a lakh injured on both sides of the LoC, besides considerable loss of property, he said adding, to meet future disasters it is necessary for taking every required step to remain fully prepared.

He called for organising area-wise training workshops by involving students, Scouts, Guides, NCC Cadets, Civil Defence volunteers, engineers and the society at large to cope with any arising situation in the future.

Referring to the installation of three Advanced Warning Systems in the Amarnath Shrine area by the Meteorological Department during this year’s Yatra, Vohra said this provided better and more accurate weather reports.

He hoped that the Doppler Radar would also be soon established at Srinagar, which will provide a huge facility for more accurate weather prediction in the Kashmir Valley.

Later, the Governor inaugurated an Exhibition of the sophisticated life saving disaster response equipments put up by the 7th National Disaster Response Force under the aegis of NDMA at the University Campus.