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Micro-earthquakes preventing Turkey-like event in India

Published: 16th Feb, 2023

Context

Micro tremors have been helping release tectonic stress and protecting India from a devastating event, experts said and asserted that the country has seen a paradigm shift towards effective response and mitigation. 

About

Should India be concerned?

  • India is witnessing micro tremors regularly which, in turn, is helping release tectonic stress and offering protection from the possibility of a devastating event.
  • The triple junction on India's western side near the border with Pakistan is continuously releasing stress due to the occurrence of micro-level earthquakes. 
  • There are a few earthquakes of magnitude 4 and 5 as well.

Triple Junction

  • A triple junction is a point where three tectonic plates meet and interact. 
  • These are important areas of geological activity and can be sites of significant seismic and volcanic activity.
  • The movement of the plates can cause a significant build-up of stress and strain in the Earth's crust that is eventually released in the form of earthquakes.

How prone is India to earthquakes?

  • India is located in a seismically active region. India is divided into four seismic zones based on the potential for earthquake activity in each region.
  • According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences, 59 per cent of India's land mass is prone to earthquakes. 
    • Zone V is seismically the most active region, while Zone II is the least. 
    • Around 11 per cent of the country's area falls in Zone V, 18 per cent in Zone IV and 30 per cent in Zone III and the remaining in Zone II.
  • The zones are used to guide building codes and construction practices.

Zone 5 is the zone where the most intense earthquakes occur, while the least intense quakes take place in zone 2. Approximately 11% of the country's area falls in Zone 5, 18% in zone 4, 30% in zone 3 and the remaining in zone 2.

Is India ready?

  • India is well-prepared to deal with the fallout of large-scale earthquakes as it has a dedicated, well-equipped and trained force in the form of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)

  • Founded in: 2006
  • NDRF is a distinguished, unique Force across the country functioning under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, within the overall command, control and leadership of the Director General, NDRF.
  • The National Disaster Response Force is an Indian specialized force constituted "for the purpose of special response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster" under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The "Apex Body for Disaster Management" in India is the National Disaster Management Authority.
  • At present, National Disaster Response Force consist of 15 battalions from the BSF, CISF, CRPF, ITBP, SSB and Assam Rifles.

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