Scientists, Geophysicists, and Seismologists of 27 countries are working under India’s leadership on an ambitious project to develop early warning system for earthquakes to predict them some seconds before they occur. This was stated by the Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India Dr.Shailesh Nayak at a summit on ‘Combating Earthquake Disasters’ in Kolkata last evening . He, said, if the effort is successful and the model is developed, we could reduce the number of human casualties substantially. He said, before earthquakes, some chemical changes under the earth’s surface and some physical displacements on the surface occur and hoped if parameters are developed to observe, study and analyze these changes, the quakes can be predicted. For this purpose, India is going to launch a satellite by 2019 which will send images of surface displacement up to the accuracy of few centimeters. Dr. Nayak added that in the coming years deep bore wells filled with sensors and other equipment will be put in place in all seismically active regions in the country to sense the chemical and physical changes under the earth’s surface.
It was told in the summit that 22 states in India are prone to earthquakes of various intensities like Severe, High, Moderate and Low and urban explosion and densely populated cities with high rise buildings makes the quake scenario worse. During last one decade, 11 earthquakes of magnitude five (5) or above on Richter scale has shaken India, the summit was informed.
Participating in the summit Dr. Sankar Kumar Nath, Professor, Geology and Geophysics, IIT Kharagpur, Dr. O.P. Mishra, Sr. Scientist and DDG (Seismology) India Meteorological Department, Dr. Ambarish Ghosh, Prof. of Civil Engineering & Head, School of Disaster Mitigation Engineering, Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology, Shibpur and Lt. Gen N.C. Marwah, Member, National Disaster Management Authority, Government of India were among those who participated in the summit. Speakers emphasized on strict adherence to and implementation of Building Structure Codes as in Japan to make them quake resistant. Apart from loss of human lives quakes also severely paralyses the economy by destroying infrastructures such as, rail, road, bridge, communication and power networks, which take years to rebuild them at huge costs.