There is no need to “panic” with respect to the recent seismic activities in Delhi-NCR region as per the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), said Dr BK Bansal, Director of the National Centre for Seismology (NCS) on Thursday. In the last two months, Delhi has witnessed nine earthquakes and there were media reports that these small quakes might be a sign of a big one to come.
Bansal informed that given the seismic history of Delhi and its vicinity, the occurrence of minor earthquakes in Delhi-NCR is not “unusual”. While speaking at a meeting convened by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the NCS director underlined the importance to undertake preparedness and mitigation measures to reduce the earthquake risk in the Delhi-NCR region.
“However, there is no proven technology in the world wherein earthquakes are predicted with certainty in terms of its location, time and magnitude,” he said.
Following the meeting, the NDMA has requested the states to ensure compliance of building bye laws to make upcoming constructions earthquake resilient and to avoid addition of vulnerable building stock and identify the vulnerable priority structures, especially lifeline buildings, and retrofit them.
The authority also suggested that private buildings should also be retrofitted to reduce the risk in a phased manner, wherever required. The NDMA requested States to conduct regular mock exercises to deal with earthquakes in future and come out with standard operating procedures (SOPs) for immediate response after an earthquake and undertake the public awareness programmes regarding do’s and don’ts with regard to earthquakes.
The meeting was attended via voice conferencing by NDMA Members, Director General, National Disaster Response Force and senior officers of Government of NCT of Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.