Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Earthquake 2017

We've recently witnessed the tragedy related to the destruction caused by the earthquake in Nepal. An estimated 7000 people died in Nepal (official estimates are normally lower than actual numbers). The physical damage to property and infrastructure can only be imagined.

The impact of the quake with an epicentre hundreds of miles away, was felt in Delhi. Strong tremors, buildings swaying and people evacuating themsleves (in a chaotic arbitrary manner) - all of this was seen right here in Delhi. This happened because our Capital city happens to be in the earthquake  'danger zone'. This means earthquakes most likely can occur in Delhi and many other cities in North India.

Consider this - if an earthquake of intensity 7.5 happens under the surface of the Earth right underneath Delhi, about 80% of the City would be brought down. This includes most buildings in the NCR, including unauthorised and authorised constructions, high rises and so on. An estimated 8 million people would die. In short, a good part of the City and its people would be finished.

The scenario is all the more scary considering that an earthquake cannot be predicted. One wonders how many of the building designers while designing the structures even considered the likely impact of an earthquake with an epicentre under Delhi.

Most important of all, do we have a disaster management program and facilities in place to handle an event of this nature? Most likely not. Are we, as a City - that means the Government, citizens, experts etc doing anything at all to brace up for this calamity? We don't know.

Its like sitting on a time bomb, knowing it will blow on day, but not knowing when. We cannot even get up and run away.

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