Scientists were unanimous in their view and highlighted the high probability of a major earthquake in the region during a two-day national workshop on disaster resilient infrastructure in the Himalayas concluded in Dehradun on Wednesday.
They said it was imperative for disaster mitigation agencies and the state government to take proactive steps for the amelioration of any impending disaster.
In his keynote address, Vinod K Gaur, a professor at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bengaluru, emphasised on the need to create awareness so that quake resistant building techniques are adopted by the people at the grassroot level.
Utttarakhand was in the Central Seismic Gap where exists a high probability of a major earthquake, they noted.
Handbooks can be published for general category houses and made available to all the people, he said.
The objective of the workshop was to provide a platform to the scientists, research community officials of various departments and professionals to share information, knowledge and suggestions on the subject of disaster resilient construction.
Professor M L Sharma from IIT-Roorkee informed about the status of the current earthquake early warning system that was deployed in Uttarakhand and also underlined the need for expansion of this network.
Scientists also spoke about the extra care that needs to be taken for the design of structures in hill slopes and the implications of wrong design or construction practices. They also stressed on requirement of specific construction guidelines for hilly regions.
In the concluding session, it was decided that the state would work to the best of its ability to ensure disaster resilience with special emphasis on earthquake resilience. Scientific and academic institutes would collaborate and assist the state government in this effort.
The world's deadliest earthquakes since 2000:
- April 16, 2016: A magnitude 7.8 earthquake on Ecuador's central coast near the town of Muisne kills more than 660 people.
- April 25, 2015: A magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal kills more than 8,000 people.
- Aug. 3, 2014: More than 700 people die in a magnitude 6.2-quake near Wenping, China.
- Sept. 24, 2013: A magnitude 7.7 quake strikes southwest Pakistan, killing more than 800 people.
- March 11, 2011: A magnitude 9.0 quake off the northeast coast of Japan triggers a tsunami, killing more than 20,000 people.
- Feb. 27, 2010: A magnitude 8.8 quake shakes Chile, generating a tsunami and killing 524 people.
- Jan. 12, 2010: A magnitude 7.0 quake hits Haiti, killing up to 316,000 people according to government estimates.
- Sept. 30, 2009: More than 1,100 people die when a magnitude 7.5 quake hits southern Sumatra, Indonesia.
- April 6, 2009: A magnitude 6.3 quake kills more than 300 people in and around L'Aquila, Italy, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of the latest quake.
- May 12, 2008: A magnitude 7.9 quake strikes eastern Sichuan in China, resulting in over 87,500 deaths.
- Aug. 15, 2007: A magnitude 8.0 earthquake near the coast of central Peru kills more than 500 people.
- May 26, 2006: More than 5,700 people die when a magnitude 6.3 quake hits the island of Java, Indonesia.
- Oct. 8, 2005: A magnitude 7.6 earthquake kills over 80,000 people in Pakistan's Kashmir region.
- March 28, 2005: A magnitude 8.6 quake in northern Sumatra in Indonesia kills about 1,300 people.
- Dec. 26, 2004: A magnitude 9.1 quake in Indonesia triggers an Indian Ocean tsunami, killing 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
- Dec. 26, 2003: A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits southeastern Iran, resulting in 50,000 deaths.
- March 25, 2002: About 1,000 people are killed in a magnitude 6.1 quake in northern Afghanistan.
- Jan. 26, 2001: A magnitude 7.7 quake strikes Gujarat in India, killing 20,000 people.