Thursday, March 17, 2011


It is a fact that Northeast is a land of earthquake. Our population hav to learn to live with it like Japanese and Californian have learnt. We have experienced earthquake every year .
The most of those earth quake are smaller magnitude . Yet Northeast has experienced two great earthquakes in the year 1897 and in the year 1950. These two earthquakes were amongst the most violent earthquakes in the world. The intensity earth quake of 1897 was 8.7 . the earthquake of 1950 had the intensity of 8.6. It could be noticed that the occurrence of both the earth quakes were during summer months. The first one was in the month of June and the second one was in the month of August. According to a few geophysicists Northeast may experience great earth movement within fifty to sixty years. Now the question is are we ready for it?

The last great earthquake occurred on August 15, 1950, and had a magnitude of 8.6. The epicenter was actually located near Rima, in Tibet . However, the earthquake as destructive in both Assam and Tibet, and 1,526 people were killed.
In an attempt to further uncover the seismic history of Northeast India, field studies were conducted by scientists with the NGRI, Bhubaneswar discovered signs of soil liquefaction including sills and sand volcanoes inside of at least twelve trenches in alluvial fans and on the Buri Dihing River Valley that were formed by past seismic activity. Radiocarbon dating identified the deposits at roughly 500 years old, which would correspond with a recorded earthquake in 1548 .
An article in Science, published in response to the 2001 Bhuj earthquake, calculated that 70 percent of the Himalayas could experience an extremely powerful earthquake. The prediction came from research of the historical records from the area as well as the presumption that since the 1950 earthquake enough slippage has taken place for a large earthquake to occur. The 1898 earth quake was still bigger though loss of human life was minimal the damage to the property was enormous as pr records. 1898 devastated lower Assam including kamrup and Goalpara the earth quake of 1950 devastated upper Assam.
This time we have to be prepared for both the areas to experience earthquake .Though according to experts Meghalaya and Lower Assam could be worst victim this time. Keeping aside the technicalities of earth movements to geologists let us concentrate what are the precaution human need to adhere to. In earlier earth quake though loss of human life was not very high any earth quake now may result in huge loss of life due to increase in population. As per the calculation Assam may experience again a great earth quake sooner or later this summer or next. We need to be prepared for that.
We need to learn from the experience of Japan. In Assam whenever earthquake comes every boy runs out of house to open to save themselves. In Japan such behaviors has been a taboo. From the childhood every child is taught to behave in a discipline manner. They are taught not to rush out of house. In India every year lots of people die for every body tries to rush out whenever pandemonium breaks out. the most death occurs due to suffocation and trampling by others feet.. Since earth quake is imminent all the schools from primary level to College level should now teach the student how to behave when earthquake strikes.
The most of the Assam type house has fewer hazards to fall apart compared to concrete houses. The concrete houses are also safe provided that have been built to withstand earth quake shocks. It is imperative to get the construction of the house checked up soon. People need to take insurance cover for earthquake. During earth quake cooking of food should be suspended. It is also told that people should keep away from overhand fans and false ceiling etc. In the house much more unsecured places are open car garages which are not fortified by walls.
Perhaps our architects have studied the problems of earthquake. In many countries where earth quakes are frequently felt most houses avoid brick and mortar interior walls. Whether similar construction would help in Assam or not could be studied. Earth quake anfd its cause should be compulsorily taught from primary level to higher secondary level. In all engineering colleges earthquake engineering should be compulsory in the first two years. There is almost no awareness among people of Northeast as to how to behave when earthquake struck. The mock earthquake drill should be introduced in al educational institute now.
If we take seriously prediction of Geologist and Geophysicists that North east would be visited by a powerful earth quake every fifty to sixty years this is the time for a major earthquake. We need to seriously think how to survive such catastrophe. It is not only government but also NGOS and educational institute need to play a proactive role in educating mass to safeguard them from earth quake menace.


No comments: