Over 900 earthquakes ranging from 1.8 to 6.6 magnitude occurred in India in the last three years, the Ministry of Earth Sciences informed the Parliament on Friday.
Responding to a query raised in the LokSabha over the number of earthquakes and on the steps taken to deal with them, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said various initiatives have been taken up to educate general public and school children about earthquakes and their impact.
“National Centre for Seismology (NCS) under Ministry of Earth Sciences, maintains a seismological network round the clock for continuous monitoring of seismic activity in and around the country.
“A total of 932 earthquakes of magnitude range from 1.8 to 6.6, have been recorded by this network from January 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019 in India,” he said.
The country experiences over 6.0 magnitude earth quakes in Manipur and Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 2016, 2017 and 2019, the ministry said, adding other earthquakes were of lower magnitude.
On the country’s preparedness in dealing with the quakes, the minister said that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and other state Disaster Management Authorities, have also taken up various initiatives to educate and bring awareness amongst general public and school children on the general aspects of earthquakes, their impacts and measures to mitigate losses caused by them.
He said guidelines have been published by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), etc. For the design and construction of earthquake resistant structures to minimize the loss of life and damage to property caused by earthquakes.
“These guidelines are in wide circulation amongst the public and the administrative authorities responsible for the design and construction of earthquake resistant structures in earthquake prone areas,” the minister said. Based on various scientific inputs from different agencies, such as, past seismicity of the country, maximum intensities experienced in the past, geology and the seismo-tectonics of the region concerned, Bureau of Indian Standards has grouped the country into four seismic zones – II, III, IV and V. Of these, Zone V is seismically the most prone region, while zone II is the least, the ministry said.