(Indian Express) EarthQuake : SAARC Wide Planning : How to soften blow?
29th April 2015
EarthQuake : SAARC Wide Planning : How to soften blow?
- Prime Minister’s quick aid to quake-struck Nepal is highly Commendable.
- President Chandrika Kumaratunga & Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar offered & gave help when Bhuj Jolted us out of our smugness on Republic Day 2001.
What could be done in advance to deal with an Earthquake ?
- Earthquake prediction may take sometime. What we should do now is inaugurate a new architecture in quake – prone areas that would not result in such devastation.
- India and Iceland have collaborated on Earthquake anticipation after Bhuj Catastrophe.
- Sensors have been put into the ground at some sites, including our Northeast. We need to know if these installations forewarned us about the Nepal quake.
Earthquake anticipation remains more an ideal than an actuality.
So what should be done now to soften the intensity of the disaster in near future ?
- An urgent seismic re-zonation of the SAARC region needs to be carried out.
- Himalayan members— Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal — need to either confirm or update the existing zona-tions, reminding us of the areas of very high risk, high risk, low risk and little risk.
- This should be public knowledge.
- Public should know what the seismic values of their lands are, what the MSK (Medvedev-Sponheuer-Karnik) seismic intensities are, and how they affect the sites they live in?
- A SAARC seismological agency needs to be set up.
- This should be independent of the member countries’ meteorological departments and keep all member-states informed of seismicities as regularly as the met office informs us about the weather.
- It should keep the various administrative stakeholders informed, alerted and advised.
- An earthquake plan for the Himalayas needs to be drawn up.
- Details need to be worked out on how rescue and relief operations can be conducted by air, land and water, in rough weather conditions and elusive terrains.
- Built structures in the Himalayas need to be identified as very high risk, highrisk and low risk
- Their residents can be forewarned and also made responsible for protecting themselves and those in the vicinity by securing the concerned buildings against seismic risk.
- The sites for all large dams and nuclear installations in the region need to be reevaluated from a seismic point of view.
- How many of them are in high earthquake risk areas?
- What if an earthquake of the intensity that shook Nepal shakes them, what will the fallout be?
A “seismic stroke” cannot be prevented but by conjoint planning and action in good time, its blow can be softened.
Art. Ref. : How to meet a quake – http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/how-to-meet-a-quake/
Complacency – (n) the feeling you have when you are satisfied with yourself
Smugness – (n) an excessive feeling of self-satisfaction
Cojoint – (adj. ) Of, consisting of, or involving two or more combined or associated entities; joint.
Inaugurate – (v) commence officially
Jolt – (n) a sudden jarring impact
Impede – (v) be a hindrance or obstacle to
Squat – (n) a small worthless amount
Protagonist – (n) a person who backs a politician or a team etc.
Crippled – (adj) disabled in the feet or legs
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