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GSI wakes up after Nepal quake; begins survey of Odisha after 25 years !

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 30:

While experts have no idea of the extent of possible damage to the life and property in Odisha in case of a major earthquake, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) has also no relevant data about the possibility of a major earthquake in the state as it has not conducted any survey on this in thee last 25 years except a few field visits.

Can this happen in Odisha too someday?
Can this happen in Odisha too someday?

Since Odisha does not come under the earthquake zone, GSI might not have given much stress on it. Besides, it has not felt the need for installation of seismograph in the state to measure the intensity of the tremor.

However, following the devastating earthquake in Nepal and its aftershocks felt twice in Odisha, a two-member GSI team began a field study in the state on Wednesday.

The team would submit its field report to the Department of Seismology, GSI, in Kolkata, Dinesh Kumar Ray, deputy general manager, GSI Regional Office, Bhubaneswar, said.

Way back in 1990, a team of GSI officials had conducted an environment survey in Bhubaneswar. The team, during the survey, had made lineaments marking in which it had traced a fault line stretching from the airport area up to Kathjodi river through Damana, Nandankanan and Barang. Long and clear marks of the fault line found in the satellite picture.

Though the GSI had warned of extensive damage in the fault zone area, it has not done any further study on this since then which is a matter of utter surprise.

According to Ray, Odisha can be divided into two seismic zones—Zone II and Zone III. While the Mahanadi delta comes under Zone III, the remaining areas are under Zone II.

“As per the Mercalli intensity scale, (a seismic scale used for measuring the intensity of an earthquake), people living on the first floor of their house in Zone II, can feel the tremor while people living in single floor houses hardly feel it, while in Zone III areas, the intensity of tremor is limited to shaking of houses and vehicles,” Ray said.

He, however, said there is greater possibility of extensive damage in some areas of Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur and Khurda districts, including Bhubaneswar, which come under the fault zone (Zone III) in the Mahanadi delta.

“As the Gondwana plate passes through the Mahanadi delta, the area is much softer compared to other areas. Considering this, the extent of damage in the delta would be more if earthquake occurs in this zone,” the GSI official pointed out.

According to Shubranshu Ray, former deputy general manager, GSI, the people of Odisha need not panic about the earthquake.

“Though some parts of Odisha come under Zone III, there is no possibility of the extent of damage wrought by earthquake in Bihar and Nepal,” Ray said.