NEW DELHI: Skyscrapers are the key concern during an event of a powerful earthquake in Delhi-NCR, said experts after the national capital region was hit by a strong tremor early Wednesday morning.
Experts said that upward areas along Yamuna and Hindon rivers are more vulnerable in case of an earthquake. They claim that there are more than 60 lakh buildings in Delhi-NCR and most of them do not have proper safety norms. Buildings close to these rivers are more vulnerable to earthquakes.
Delhi and its adjoining areas fall under Seismic Zone 4 which makes it vulnerable to earthquakes. Delhi and its suburbs and satellite cities – including Gurugram and Ghaziabad – together form a part of the Indo-Gangetic alluvium, which is filled with silt, sand, and loam. Upward areas along Yamuna and Hindon rivers are vulnerable in case of a strong quake.
On Tuesday night, strong tremors were felt across north India and parts of Nepal after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the Himalayan region near Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh along the Nepal border, killing at least six people and injuring five. A 5.7-magnitude tremor was felt in different areas of the national capital region including New Delhi and NCR cities.
The National Centre for Seismology (NCS) said the epicentre of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake, which struck at 1.57 am, was in Nepal, about 90 km east-southeast of Pithoragarh. The region has been experiencing lower-magnitude quakes for the last few days.
The National Earthquake Monitoring Centre of Nepal said a 6.6-magnitude quake was recorded at 2.12 am. The epicentre was Doti district. Two moderate quakes preceded the stronger tremor that jolted western Nepal, a 5.7-magnitude tremor at 9.07 pm on Tuesday and a 4.1-magnitude one shortly after at 9.56 pm. The epicentre was the same, it said.
The tremors forced people living in Noida, Greater Noida, Gurugram and Ghaziabad to come out from their residential and commercial high-rises. “Though no causality or major loss was reported in Delhi and the NCR, the concern remained for the skyscrapers in unplanned urbanisation which can lead to higher levels of destruction during powerful earthquakes.
Increased seismic activity at frequent intervals has been posing a threat to the region,” said Manoj Kumar, a resident of Noida who has been raising the issue before authorities for more than a decade.