BANGALORE: The panic and chaos which followed Wednesday’s mild tremors have thrown up an important question - Is the city’s disaster mitigation system well-eq-uipped to handle an earthquake ?
Prof R N Iyengar, Director of Centre for Disaster Mitigation at Jain University, said, “The Bangalore’s situation is peculiar. “The local corporation here has acquired many lakes and converted them into real estate. This should not have happened in the context of earthquakes. This means that many buildings in the city are built on soft soil and reclining land, which is dangerous,” he said.
He added that it was estimated that the city would suffer losses to the tune of $3 billion.
He further explained, “There are three phases in an earthquake - before, during and after. While little can be done during and after the earthquake, the onus is on what we can do before it strikes. In my opinion, the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority is ill-equipped,” said Prof Iyengar.
Prof Iyengar urged the state government to invest more in training people on how to handle an earthquake situation. “Japanese earthquakes have taught us the risk of fire that a city can face after an earthquake. My suggestion is that people have to be trained towards a situation like that,” he said.