Gurgaon gets first earthquake warning system

  • Rashpal Singh, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: Jul 19, 2016 00:56 IST
Haryana minister for finance Capt Abhimanyu Singh (right) and MD of Secty Electronics, Germany, Juergen Przybylak (second from right) inaugurate the earthquake warning system in HIPA on Monday. (Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

Gurgaon residents are likely to get a warning within 30 seconds next time a tremor hits the city after the Haryana Institute of Public Administration (HIPA) in Gurgaon launched an on-site early earthquake warning and security system on Monday.

The system is capable of sending out earthquake alarms within 30 seconds after primary seismic wakes are detected. A primary seismic wave is one that travels faster than normal waves under the earth and is sensed by animals and birds but beyond human sensory perceptions. A secondary seismic wave is stronger and shakes the surface and is sensed by humans too. Often, a secondary wave causes huge damage.

After inaugurating the system, Haryana finance, revenue and disaster management minister Capt Abhimanyu said that though the time frame of 30 seconds appears negligible, it will give a crucial window for residents to seek safety.

“We are in seismic zone-4 and any conscious society will like to take measures to avoid any kind of threat to life. This technology is an answer to it,” the minister said.

The second of its kind in Haryana, the new system will help safeguard the city with over 1,000 high-rises.

HIPA director general SP Gupta said the system is capable of detecting primary seismic waves. The system will trigger the alarm and shut off running applications such as power supply, lifts and escalators. He said 26 countries have adopted this technology.

The system costs about `38 lakh and has an indoor alarm system. In March next year, it will be upgraded to a public siren system similar to the one installed at the Chandigarh secretariat. The public siren system can send alarms up to a radius of six kilometres and caution people within 30 seconds of tremors but it costs more than the indoor alarm system.

The system will help in quick rescue and better coordination during an earthquake as the secondary seismic waves are the ones that cause damage on the surface.

The minister asked the HIPA administration to showcase the system to all stake holders such as builders, district administration, residents’ welfare associations and industrial associations.

HIPA is working on preparing a feasibility study for Haryana to integrate all emergency services under a common emergency phone number so that there is no need to remember different numbers. A budget of Rs. 15 crore has been sanctioned for the study to be conducted across the state.

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