Want to know the earthquake vulnerability of the district where you plan to build a house? Help is at hand.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Union housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry have prepared maps listing earthquake vulnerability of localities right down to the block level.
The zoning maps indicate the probability of occurrence of earthquake in an area. Though these maps were available earlier, they have been narrowed down to the district and block level for the first time.
India is divided into four seismic zones depending on vulnerability. While areas falling in zone-2 are considered low damage risk, those in zone–5 are the most vulnerable with very high damage risk.
“The maps will let people know if their area is prone to earthquakes. So, when they are building a house, they know what material to use or make earthquake-resistant design interventions,” said Dr Shailesh Aggarwal, executive director of the Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC).
An autonomous body under the housing ministry, BMPTC collaborated with NDMA to prepare the maps, using data available with the Survey of India, Geological Survey of India, Meteorological Department and Census of India.
One can see the maps at the BMPTC and NDMA websites. NDMA will also send the maps to District Disaster Management Authority for distribution in respective districts.
The BMPTC is also preparing a mobile app through which people can download the maps to know the earthquake zone of their area. “Since the maps are digitized, we will ensure the resolution is good to enable people to navigate easily. The high-resolution maps will be ready in a month’s time,” said Aggarwal.
The maps will also help architects and engineers, insurance agencies, people involved in land use planning, and in various aspects of public and financial policies deal with disaster mitigation and emergency planning and management.
Aggarwal said as many as 95% of the 304 million households in India are vulnerable to earthquakes in different degrees. The report revealed that from the map, it could be seen that about 50% area in north Punjab is liable for a high intensity earthquake.