Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 27:
Contrary to earlier claims that Odisha is less vulnerable to earthquakes, geologists are of the view that the coastal state is prone to quakes despite it being located in seismic zone II and III.
Experts have rejected the earlier claims that Odisha is free from earthquakes.
“We cannot predetermine a seismic zone. It changes with time. In view of this, we cannot rule out major quakes in Odisha. As Odisha is not far off from the Bay of Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Java and Sumatra and it lie in the seismic zone from north east, a high intensity quake or Tsunami can have its devastating impact in our state too,” Lecturer, Dr Devananda Beura, Dept of Geology, Utkal University said.
The areas lying in the valleys of Mahanadi and Brahmani river fall under zone III were considered to have low impact from seismic disturbances. However, it has been disputed by geologists.
The geologists have apprehended that if earthquake of magnitude 7 on the Richter scale occurs then Bhubaneswar will be most affected.
As per an estimate, there are over 1000 high-rise buildings or apartments in the capital city of which 99 percent are not earthquake-proof. The people living in these buildings would be affected by the quakes.
“People should go for earthquake-resistant constructions rather than the conventional ones which would minimise the loss to life and property in case of geological disturbances,” Dr Beura said.
Notably, there were several indications of earthquake vulnerability in the state that were traced in the past. Dormant volcano was discovered in Similipal and several hot springs have also been found across the state. Similarly, mining activities and mushrooming high-rise buildings are inviting calamities, experts have opined.
There is a need to monitor the activities in the coastal regions especially in Puri, Cuttack, Khurda, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur and Balasore districts, they added.
Despite scientific advancements, earthquake, which is highly unpredictable and inevitable, has rocked several parts of the country during the last few decades. Its predictions have become difficult as compared to prediction of other natural calamities.
India has been divided into four zones depending on the earthquake vulnerability of the area–Zone- II, III, IV, and V. Zone II is low damage risk zone, zone-III is moderate damage risk zone, zone –IV is high damage risk zone and zone-V is very high damage risk zone.