The Millennium City falls in the second-highest risk zone — seismic zone IV. What can be a cause for concern is that 1,100 high-rise buildings dot the city’s landscape, which can lead to major upheaval in case of an earthquake.
In new Gurgaon, office buildings made of steel frames are safer when compared to residential high-rises, most of which make space for parking, making the ground storey weak. Udyog Vihar will be worst affected in case of a major earthquake as it is very congested.
Even Old Gurgaon and the urban villages around the city will be badly affected as 90% of these areas have non-engineered burnt brick dwellings.
These fears came to haunt the city when tremors of the earthquake that had its epicentre on the Iran-Pakistan border were felt. Three back-to-back tremors which lasted for 11 seconds forced people to rush out of their homes and office complexes.
Although there have been no reports regarding loss of life, damages have been reported. Cracks appeared in the glass facades of an 11-storey office building in Sector-30. Some people got stuck in the lifts but escaped unhurt.
In DLF Cyber city, panic prevailed for a good 20 minutes where thousands of executives were working.
“I was working on my laptop when I realised that the chair I was sitting on started to shake. Then I heard an emergency alarm and on realising that it was an earthquake, we rushed out of the fire exits,” said a 27-year-old chartered accountant, who works on the fourth floor office in the 22-floor building in DLF cyber city.
PN Raina, a resident of Silver Oaks apartment on the Gurgaon-Faridabad expressway, said the tremors were mild and only a few residents came out of their homes. “We did alert each other but residents did not panic,” he said.