ISR's new seismic map to predict quake probability, magnitude

ISR's new seismic map to predict quake probability, magnitude

"The present earthquake zoning map of the BIS has divided India into four zones, but our map, after a research work of over two years, will be more accurate and will be distinct as it will give probability of occurrences of quakes of certain magnitudes," ISR Director General B K Rastogi told PTI.

"The map prepared by us will be very helpful for special installations like nuclear power plants, dams and other installations of national importance like all industries, apart from helping domestic constructions," Rastogi said.

The BIS has a seismic zoning map of India which divides the country into four zones from two to five. Zone five is the most dangerous and outside the Himalayan faults line. Only Kutch district of Gujarat falls in Zone five, while the rest of the country is divided into other three zones.

"The BIS was trying to prepare the new map for the last 13 years from 1997. Finally, they approached us three years ago and we prepared the zoning map after two years of hard work, studying data of 35,000 earthquakes that took place in and around India, the Director General said.

"This detailed study was very important along with the study of fault line in India to give probability of earth quakes that might occur in a particular area, with their possible magnitude," he said.

Apart from predicting probability of earthquakes and their possible magnitude the map prepared by ISR is more accurate. For example in the present BIS zone map, entire Kutch is shown in Zone five, while our map shows that the Southern Kutch is not in Zone five, Rastogi said.

This map will be of great help for vital installations as their life is for more than 50 years, he said.

It will also help the construction industry, as it will tell them exact measures to be taken to secure their building and not overdo the strengthening work as the cost will escalate too much, Rastogi said.

Apart from earthquakes of India, studies on all those that were recorded in neighbouring countries were also carried for accurate preparations of the map as big quakes in Pakistan or China can affect us, he said.

Now the new map has been submitted to the BIS and their engineers will decide on how to put it in use, he added.

The ISR was established by Gujarat government in 2004 after the devastating 2001 Kutch earthquake, which killed more than 20,000 people.

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