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

Posted By: Pti
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Ahmedabad, Jan 31 (PTI) The Institute of SeismologicalResearch (ISR) has prepared a new seismic zone map of India,for the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which gives a moreaccurate picture along with probability and magnitude estimateof possible earthquakes in specific areas of the country.

"The present earthquake zoning map of the BIS has dividedIndia into four zones, but our map, after a research work ofover two years, will be more accurate and will be distinct asit will give probability of occurrences of quakes of certainmagnitudes," ISR Director General B K Rastogi told PTI.

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

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

"The BIS was trying to prepare the new map for the last13 years from 1997. Finally, they approached us three yearsago and we prepared the zoning map after two years of hardwork, studying data of 35,000 earthquakes that took place inand around India, the Director General said.

"This detailed study was very important along with thestudy of fault line in India to give probability of earthquakes that might occur in a particular area, with theirpossible magnitude," he said.

Apart from predicting probability of earthquakes andtheir possible magnitude the map prepared by ISR is moreaccurate. For example in the present BIS zone map, entireKutch is shown in Zone five, while our map shows that theSouthern Kutch is not in Zone five, Rastogi said. (MORE) PTIPD DK DK

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 willtell them exact measures to be taken to secure their buildingand not overdo the strengthening work as the cost willescalate too much, Rastogi said.

Apart from earthquakes of India, studies on all thosethat were recorded in neighbouring countries were also carriedfor accurate preparations of the map as big quakes in Pakistanor China can affect us, he said.

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

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

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