Model Question and Answers for APSC | Discuss about the vulnerability of India to earthquake related hazards. Give examples including the salient features of major disasters caused by earthquakes in different parts of India during the last three decades. (UPSC MAINS 2021)
Ans : The vulnerability of India to earthquake related hazards
1. About 59 percent of India’s land mass is prone to earthquakes of different intensities. The area is classified into four seismic zones: Zone-V (Very High Risk), Zone-IV (High Risk), Zone-III (Moderate Risk), and Zone-II (Low Risk).
2. Zone V is seismically the most active region, while zone II is the least. Approximately 11 percent area falls in zone V,18 percent in zone IV, 30 percent in zone III and remaining in zone II.
The salient features of major disasters caused by earthquakes in different parts of India
1. In span of about 50 years, four such earthquakes have occurred: 1897 Shillong (M8.7); 1905 Kangra (M8.0); 1934 Bihar-Nepal (M8.3); and 1950 Assam-Tibet (M8.6), according to India’s National Disaster Management Authority.
2. The entire Himalayan belt is considered prone to great earthquakes of magnitude exceeding 8.0.
3. Region around Gujarat is vulnerable due to Kachchh Rift Zone.
4. Coastal areas of India, particularly east coast, are vulnerable to tsunamis because of the presence of pacific ring of fire near Southeast Indian Ocean. Example: 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami
Earthquake related disasters:
1. Destruction of building and infrastructure
2. Solifluction and Landslide
3. Tsunami: 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami
4. Flooding and Glacial lake outbursts