Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 28:
The areas adjoining the Odisha capital’s lone airport sit in seismic zone as earthquake fault line lies though it, a seismic mapping conducted in the 1990s had revealed.
“The Geological Survey of India had done seismic mapping survey in 1990. The satellite pictures of the city showed long patches in the airport area. The lineament marks of the fault zone lies from airport area through Damana, Barang, Nandankanan to Kathajodi. These areas would likely be most affected as compared to other parts of the city during earthquakes. Then, the GSI had decided to submit the report to the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA). I don’t have any knowledge of the report being submitted to it but city dwellers should lay emphasis on technical aspects for quake-proof constructions before building houses,” retired geologist SD Mohanty said.
Notably, the temple city’s earthquake vulnerability is at par with Ahmedabad, which was ravaged by quake in 2001 with a magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter scale.
“Bhubaneswar can be divided into two seismic zones. If we consider the earthquakes in the Himalayan region then the capital city comes under seismic zone III. If the earthquake hits the Bay of Bengal region then the Odisha capital would lie under zone IV or even could reach zone V depending on the severity of the quake. So, a quake in the Bay of Bengal would be more devastating for Odisha as compared to Himalayan region. However, there is no such big threat to Bhubaneswar as the intensity of earthquake would range from 4 to 5.5 on Richter scale. Nepal-like disaster is unlikely here but there would be cracks in the buildings if the magnitude would be higher. People should give emphasis on quake-proof constructions in the city. The GSI report submitted in 1990s should be stressed upon,” former deputy director of GSI, Subhranshu Ray said.
After the devastating earthquake in Nepal which killed over 3500 people till Monday and the toll was increasing with each passing day, experts have been echoing views for construction of quake-resistant houses considering the vulnerability of the city to earthquakes.
“It was being heard that Bhubaneswar is shifting from seismic zone III to V. Besides, Odisha is facing cyclone and flood quite frequently. In view of this, frame structure construction should be avoided especially when the construction is above three-storey. The frame structure construction should be done in pillar structures. While constructing quake-proof houses, the frame structure should rest on load bearing walls from the plinth as a result of which the structure holds on to the walls firmly. This type of construction has been successful against natural calamities in various areas,” retired chief engineer and secretary Nandanandan Das said.