Rocked and shocked

Published at May 11, 2018 03:59 AM 0Comment(s)2607views

Rocked and shocked

Two earthquakes in two consecutive days jolted the state. A 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday with its epicenter near Hindu Kush region while as a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit the state on Wednesday. Although no serious damage has been reported from anywhere in the state, but the jolts have come as reminder of the vulnerability due to the region resting on a major fault line. Many areas in the state fall in the most unsafe zones, Zone IV and V. The tremors have stirred the state at a time when the work on major development projects and revised master plans is underway. Though massive construction projects undertaken by the government may withstand the shocks even to the scale of 8, but the same cannot be said about the residential houses and some commercial buildings that have come up in a hurry. Flouting of building and construction norms is no secret. Earlier in February, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake was said to cause damage to the much awaited flyover in the city. Although the top official explained it was due to an accident triggered by the quake, it nevertheless stepped up the apprehensions of the people who have been living in constant threat. The devastation, in terms of lives lost and damage to property, brought by the 2005 earth quake is hard to forget. Since then, safety concerns in an earthquake prone region have remained in the discourse. The focus has been shifting from promoting tremors resistant structures to minimizing the damages in the case of larger magnitude quakes hitting the state. While these happen to be primary concerns, there are also secondary concerns related to the quakes. The tremors are believed to cause landslides and sinking in some vulnerable spots. To deal with this kind of threat is more challenging as sudden changes triggered by earthquakes give very little time for any force to act. Nevertheless the disaster preparedness of the state must be ensured from time to time and the personnel must continue their drills throughout the year. It is a shared responsibility and people have to cooperate to avert disasters striking in the future that may claim lives the way it happened in 2005. The fact that recent earthquakes have been of lesser strength should not become a cause of complacency, as major disasters that have struck the world were neither predicted nor anticipated. People must remain watchful of all events linked to the natural disasters.



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