Published On: Tue, Nov 12th, 2013

Earthquakes: Why Delhi is a high risk zone?

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New Delhi: The early morning tremors in Delhi-NCR has once again highlighted the need to be get the teeming metropolis prepared for earthquakes, especially because the entire region lies in very sensitive Seismic Zone 4.

The earthquake zoning map of India divides India into 4 seismic zones (Zone 2, 3, 4 and 5). Areas under Zone 5 – western and central Himalayas, North-East and the Rann of Kutch – have the highest level of seismicity.

Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Indo-Gangetic basin, Koyna region of Maharashtra are in Zone 4.

Zoning is as per the number of active fault lines on the earth’s surface that can turn into the epicentre for an earthquake. A fault line is like a joint, a junction. It is the surface trace of a fault in earth’s crust which was formed as a result of a fracture in earth’s rocky crust.

The main cause of earthquakes in the Himalayas and surrounding areas has been the friction between the Indian plate and Eurasian plate.

Movement along the faults releases tremendous amounts of energy causing earthquakes on the surface.

Delhi is particularly vulnerable to a major earthquake as it is situated on top or very near to many active seismic fault lines – the Sohna fault line, Delhi-Haridwar ridge zone, Mahendragarh fault line, Moradabad fault line and Rajasthan boundary fault line.

Given the high-density of population in the Delhi-NCR region, a major quake with its epicentre in the region may cause massive damage to both life and property.

As earthquakes can’t be predicted the only way out to minimise damage is by being prepared

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