Whenever a major earthquake, causing large scale death and destruction, occurs in any part of the world, alarm bells also start ringing in Jammu and Kashmir.
This is because Jammu and Kashmir is also vulnerable to earthquakes and a study by a prominent US-based seismologist Roger Bilham reveals that Kashmir is likely to be hit by an earthquake of largest ever magnitude 9.
Thousands of people have been killed in a recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria. The devastation is massive.
Concern is being expressed by various quarters here that suggestions of concerned experts are not being taken seriously and that no significant steps are taken to implement the important points being highlighted by them.
Constructions are mostly going on without any guidelines and safety measures as if J&K is safe from earthquakes. There is no progress in other safety measures as well. Surely there is no need to panic, which can hamper the normal life due to the fear of an earthquake.
But steps have to be taken as per the guidelines being set by the experts. The warnings and suggestions of the experts have to be taken seriously. Strategy has to be evolved based on the expert opinion.
The experts are recommending undertaking micro-seismic zoning and risk assessment to minimise the loss of human lives in case of high magnitude quake. According to them, developing a robust strategy for earthquake risk assessment and seismic micro-zonation of the Kashmir valley is essential.
That can be done through critical assessment of various geological, geomorphic, geotechnical, hydrological and socioeconomic factors that exacerbate the earthquake vulnerability in Kashmir.
Some experts say that the entire J&K is vulnerable to earthquakes and that there is a need to ensure scientific execution of developmental projects and buildings in areas vulnerable to natural disasters.
Other experts suggest that development of buildings and settlements on unconsolidated materials, moraines, and narrow valleys in the tectonically active zones should be discouraged as these are unsuitable.
All these suggestions must be implemented.
Earthquakes in other parts of the world is a warning to the people and officials here to follow the guidelines of the experts and not to take things so lightly.