Blame it on soft soil, say the experts

BANGALORE: Did you feel the earthquake tremors on Wednesday afternoon? If yes, then blame it on the soil on which your building is constructed. It is the type of soil that caused different par

Published: 12th April 2012 02:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:28 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: Did you feel the earthquake tremors on Wednesday afternoon? If yes, then blame it on the soil on which your building is constructed. It is the type of soil that caused different parts of Bangalore respond differently to an earthquake that occurred in Indonesia.

Prof T G Sitharam, along with Dr P Anbazhagan, assistant professor, both from the Department of Civil Engineering at Indian Institute of Science conducted the study on ‘Seismic Hazard Analysis for the Bangalore Region’.  According to Prof Sitharam, Bangalore is built on a platform which is a mixture of rocks and soil. He said that different kinds of soil responds differently to earthquakes. “Soft soils means more vibrations and vice-versa. If buildings are built over rocky area, vibrations will be less,” he said. However, Prof Sitharam said that as far as the city is concerned, there is nothing to worry.

He said that taller buildings are more vulnerable to tremors. “Top floors will experience more tremors. If buildings are not strong enough, vibrations like these can make buildings collapse,” he said.

Referring to the area under the study (350 km radius around Bangalore), Prof Sitharam said that many earthquakes have been reported here for many centuries. The first reported seismic activity in the study area was in 1807. Moderate earthquakes of intensity, ranging from 4 to 5.5 on Richter Scale, have occurred many times in the area. A large number of seismic activities occurred close to Bangalore and in southern parts of Karnataka . The last major earthquake measured 5.1 on Richter Scale in May 1972.

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