Hyderabad: The International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIITH) along with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) have developed Earthquake Disaster Risk Index (EDRI) for 50 cities and one district in India.
The EDRI helps a systematic way to compare the overall earthquake disaster risks across a large number of cities and regions in India and is also aimed at creating awareness on seismic zones that are under low seismic hazard regions yet carry risk or threats.
The profile shows that about 56 percent area of India is vulnerable to moderate to major earthquakes. It is evident from past earthquakes such as Manipur (2016), Nepal (2015), Sikkim (2011), Kashmir (2005), Bhuj (2001), Chamoli (1999), Jabalpur (1997) and Latur (1993) that all type of buildings sustain damage if not designed properly.
Apart from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, the other cities for which the index was developed include Itanagar, Guwahati, Dispur, Port Blair, Darbhanga, Bhuj, Mandi, Srinagar, Imphal, Shillong, Aizawal, Kohima, Agartala, Chamoli, Pithoragarh, Patna, Bhagalpur, Jamnagar in Gujarat, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Panipat, Panchakula, Shimla, Solan, Jammu, Ratnagiri, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Alwar, Gangtok, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budhnagar, Meerut, Bareily, Mathura, Moradabad, Dehradun, Uttarkashi, Nainital, Chandigarh, Darjeeling, Siliguri, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi.
The index showed that only seven of these 50 cities have low level risk whereas 30 cities fall in medium level risk and 13 cities have high level risk. This scenario is alarming and needs immediate attention, the IIIT Hyderabad officials said.
For the study, the cities were selected based on population density, housing threat factor and cities identified by the union government and field visit of 25 cities and collection of secondary data from the remaining cities was carried out. In each city, a sample of around 400 buildings was selected in different areas.
The EDRC research team comprised of principal investigator Prof R Pradeep Kumar and PhD scholars who worked on it for three years. It was reviewed by a panel of technical committee comprising of IIIT professors and government officials.
More than 90 per cent of the casualties in past earthquakes in India have occurred due to collapse of houses and structures. The loss of life and property could be minimised significantly by ensuring better code compliance of upcoming constructions and undertaking seismic retrofitting of existing buildings.
NDMA hopes that the report will be of help to city officials concerned and act as a guide towards disaster risk mitigation and preparedness efforts.