GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Disaster Management and Preparedness
Direction: The article highlights how India should use the recent earthquake in Turkey as a lesson and get ready for the future.
Why is Indian terrain prone to great earthquakes?
- The political boundaries roughly follow the tectonic divides in the west, the north and the east.
- The 2,500-km-long Himalayan plate boundary from the northwest to the northeast.
- The historical release of geological tension doesn’t fully account for the strain that has built up.
- For instance, the Central Himalayas has been historically deficient in earthquakes.
- New dams at the foothills of the Himalayas.
The trend in annual losses from disasters: Has been markedly upward, mainly due to an increase in the aerial extent of habitation in vulnerable areas.
- Undertake a comprehensive study of the vulnerability of buildings and structures.
- To ensure –
- All new constructions (especially in high-risk zones) can resist shaking and
- All existing buildings are protected by retrofitting.
- In areas where traditional structures are more common, bolster traditional earthquake resistance
- Must overhaul town and municipal planning by-laws to accommodate hazard-safety measures.
- Use the appropriate building codes, developed by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
- Develop an environmental land zonation scheme for urban and rural areas.
- Translate detailed scientific knowledge on earthquake safety into a format that is easily available, accessible, and actionable
- Real-time and free data-sharing should become a norm.
The Turkey and the Joshimath disaster must be an eye-opener for Indian authorities to integrate development with disaster mitigation strategies, through systematic, long-term, cost-effective and grassroots community-based initiatives.
Q. Discuss about the vulnerability of India to earthquake-related hazards. Give examples including the salient features of major disasters caused by earthquakes in different parts of India during the last three decades. (UPSC 2021)