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Bhuj Earthquake

Bhuj Earthquake

Context: On January 26, 2001, a massive earthquake struck Bhuj, Gujarat, with a magnitude of 6.9 on the Richter scale. The earthquake had devastating consequences, resulting in the loss of over 20,000 lives and injuries to more than 150,000 individuals. It left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and caused damage to or destruction of more than a million buildings.

This tragic event prompted the government to reevaluate its strategies and planning for earthquake preparedness.

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Earthquakes in India:

  • India’s current seismic zone map (IS 1893: 2002) indicates that over 59% of the country’s land area is under moderate to severe seismic hazards.
  • The Koyna earthquake in 1967 led to a revision of the seismic zoning map, with the removal of non-seismic zones from the map and the re-designation of areas surrounding Koyna as Seismic Zone IV, signifying high seismic hazard.
  • The increase in earthquake risk is attributed to a surge in developmental activities driven by urbanization, economic growth, and India’s globalization. The use of high-tech equipment and tools in various industries has also made them susceptible to disruption from even moderate ground shaking.

Earthquake Safety Guidelines:

  • Drop to the ground and take cover by getting under a sturdy table or furniture. Hold on until the shaking stops.
  • If no table or desk is available, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors, walls, and objects that could fall.
  • Use a doorway for shelter only if it’s a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it’s safe to go outside. Most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move during the earthquake.
  • Do not move from where you are but move away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Stay in open spaces until the shaking stops, as the greatest danger exists near buildings, exits, and exterior walls.

The Bhuj earthquake of 2001 serves as a stark reminder of the seismic vulnerability in India and the importance of earthquake preparedness and safety measures to minimize loss of life and property during such disasters.

Down To Earth Summary (May 2023)

Read Also: Earthquake Hazard Mitigation

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