Dehradun: Many buildings in hill resorts of
Mussoorie, Nainital and Bageshwar in Uttarakhand, which fall
under the high seismic zone, can be considered unsafe and
faces high risk of damage in the event of an earthquake.
A new survey on tourist town of Mussoorie conducted by
the state government`s Department of Disaster Management has
revealed that 18 per cent of the buildings, including some
hotels and schools, face "high probability" of damage of grade
V and IV in case of a big earthquake.
Significantly, most of these buildings were constructed
in the pre-1950 era and some even during the 19th century.
Under the European Macro-seismic Scale (EMS-98), grade
IV and V are important for vulnerability and risk assessment
as these have the potential of threatening lives of the
occupants of the buildings.
Since Mussoorie falls in zone IV of seismic risk map of
India, the scale of the damage during an earthquake might be
very high, the study said.
In all, 3344 buildings spread over 11 residential wards
were surveyed in Mussoorie with the department using satellite
imagery for mapping the infrastructure in global information
system (GIS) environment.
Of the surveyed structures, the oldest was constructed in
1836 and 290 were observed to have been constructed in
pre-1900 period. A nine-storeyed building was observed in ward
number 8 of the Himalayan town and as many as 30 buildings
were more than five-storeyed.
Analysts also assessed magnitude of the expected direct
economic losses in case of damage.
The replacement cost of these buildings comes out to be
Rs 143.85 crore. And in a seismic event, the likely damage to
these structures would be Rs 92 crore. Total direct or
indirect economic losses are estimated to be Rs 235.85 crore.
Similarly, a separate survey was also conducted on 1165
buildings in Bageshwar and 2865 buildings in Nainital in order
to assess seismic vulnerability of the two towns of Kumaon
region of the state.
Eight per cent of the surveyed buildings in Bageshwar and
14 per cent of building in Nainital show high probability of
grade V damage and very high probability of grade IV damage.
The replacement cost of the buildings in Bageshwar and
Nainital is assessed to be Rs 7.1 crore and Rs 56.96 crore
respectively. In case of high seismic damage, the towns would
suffer economic losses to the tune of Rs 12.82 crore and Rs
96.28 crore, respectively.