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A devastating quake in Turkey recalls the tragedies awaiting India

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Disaster Management and Preparedness


Source: TH


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.


Way ahead:

  • 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.


Insta Links:

Turkey Earthquake


Mains Links:

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)