A total of 745 earthquakes have been recorded by the National Seismological Network of India over years

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Revised earthquake hazard zone map of India by Wikipedia
Revised earthquake hazard zone map of India by Wikipedia

“The analysis carried out by NCS on past 20 years earthquakes occurred in and around Delhi, does not show any definite pattern in the frequency of earthquake occurrence which could suggest an increase in earthquake activity.”– Dr Harsh Vardhan

“A total of 745 earthquakes have been recorded by the National Seismological Network including, 26 events in NCR during last three years (September 2017 to August 2020) with magnitude 3 and above.”—Minister of Earth Sciences

“It is difficult to state that any increase in seismicity is an indicator of likely occurrence of major earthquake.”– Dr Harsh Vardhan

By PIB Delhi

National Centre for Seismology (NCS), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), maintains a nation-wide seismological network to monitor the earthquake activity in and around the country.

The analysis carried out by NCS on past 20 years earthquakes occurred in and around Delhi, does not show any definite pattern in frequency of earthquake occurrence which could suggest any increase in earthquake activity. However, during the recent years, seismic monitoring over Delhi has improved considerably and even the lower magnitude events are automatically detected and disseminated quickly through NCS website and Mobile App. It is perhaps giving the impression of enhanced earthquake activity in the region, which was otherwise not noticed earlier. It is difficult to state that any increase in seismicity is an indicator of likely occurrence of major earthquake.

A total of 745 earthquakes have been recorded by the National Seismological Network including, 26 events in NCR during last three years (September 2017 to August 2020) with magnitude 3 and above. No major loss / damage has been reported due to these earthquakes.

At present there is no proposal to revise the earthquake vulnerability status of the NCR region. The microzonation study conducted by NCS provides detailed information on various parameters like, expected ground motion, liquefaction and composite Hazard, etc. for different parts of Delhi.

Several initiatives have been taken by concerned Ministries/ departments towards preventive measures. NDMA has prepared and issued the guidelines on “Management of Earthquakes” and “Seismic retrofitting” of deficient buildings. Also, NDMA and State Disaster Management Authorities conducts regular programmes to create awareness about the earthquakes for public at large.

In view of the recent seismic activity in NCR, NDMA has organised meetings with Disaster Response Force and Governments of NCT, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to ensure compliance of building bye laws to make upcoming constructions earthquake resistant; to conduct regular mock exercises to deal with earthquakes and to undertake the public awareness programs. Also, online Incident Response System (IRS) training and Table Top Exercise was organised for all the stakeholders.

In addition, Seismic Microzonation studies of Delhi, Kolkata, Sikkim, Guwahati, and Bengaluru etc. has been carried out by MoES. Such studies are useful in land use planning and formulation of site-specific design and construction of buildings/ structures to minimizing the damage to property and loss of life caused by the earthquakes.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has also published various guidelines for construction of earthquake resistant structures and retrofitting to help in minimising damage.

This information was given in a written reply by the Minister of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, and Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan in Lok Sabha on September 23, 2020.