Disaster Safety Awareness & Preparedness
Earthquake problems are not new to India. Some of the major earthquakes of the world occurred in our country and neighborhood areas. During past 2 decades, we have witnessed 8 moderate earthquakes: Bihar-Nepal border (M6.4) in 1988, Uttarkashi, Uttaranchal (M6.6) in 1991, Latur, Maharastra (M6.3) in 1993, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh (M6.0) in 1997, Chamoli, Uttaranchal (M6.8) in 1999, Bhuj, Gujarat (M6.9) in 2001 and Muzafarrabad, Kashmir (M7.8) in 2005. These earthquakes caused innumerable property and life loss. These events occurred with a time gap of 2 3 years. Inspite of this, general awareness regarding earthquakes and earthquake resistant constructions is very low in the country. Pre-disaster planning i.e., mitigation and preparedness can have a great impact on minimizing the post-disaster response i.e., emergency, rescue and rehabilitation. This also reduces tragedy and suffering to great extent. For this we can take the advantage of information technology developments for dissemination of knowledge to masses. Efficient simulation tools can be prepared disaster simulation.
According to latest seismic zonation map given in IS: 1893: 2002 (Criteria for earthquake resistant design of structures), more than 60% of India is prone to earthquakes. Metropolitan cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad etc., lie in zone III or above. Not only are these cities, but many other places in India are prone to moderate to severe earthquakes. In the event of earthquake in any of these areas, property and life will be very high. Main reason for the casualties is collapse of buildings. In order to minimize the casualties and other losses, we must ensure the construction of safe building infrastructure and for that we need to raise the capacity among existing personnel at following levels towards earthquake resistant design & construction:
• Engineering & polytechnic college faculty
• Government organizations
• Consulting engineers
• Masons & bar-benders
Myths/Constraints for earthquake resistant design:
• Earthquake resistant design needs special equipments/expertise
• Earthquake resistant design will increase the cost of the project greatly
• Even after designing for earthquake resistance there is no guarantee that structure withstands
• Earthquake will not occur in our area because we are in low seismic Zone
EERC organizes training programmes and workshops to engineers, consultants and faculty members regularly on analysis and design of earthquake resistant structures. In addition to this, it also organizes one-day training programmes to masons and barbenders.
• By attending these training courses, individuals get an overview of earthquake resistant design.
• During each course around 20-25 participants only are allowed so that healthy interaction takes place.
• Necessary reading metarial and example problems will be given to participants so that they may carry out analysis and design later on by themselves.
• We found during the short courses that department wise programmes have been very successful.
Development of products related to awareness and preparedness
Following products are developed at eerc:
• Earthquake book for kids
• Earthquake safety awareness CD
• Experimental models for understanding the concepts of earthquakes
• Information posters series
• Tips for bar bending
• Vulnerability information tool
• Earthquake zonation map puzzle
• Quakes and codes game on IS 1893:2002
• Quiz on IS 1893:2002
• Equivalent static analysis (Simple Software tool)
• Interactive Structural dynamics learning kit
• Earthquake emergency survival guide
Content presented in these products is largely developed by EERC with the help of large volume of material available on internet. It is difficult to acknowledge each and every site, however we have tried to mention wherever necessary. The purpose of developing these products is to disseminate available knowledge on disasters in general and earthquakes in particular to concerned audience. There is not commercial motive behind the ddevelopment. We encourage users to disseminate freely, however, it will be grateful if they acknowledge.
Post earthquake studies
Earthquake engineering is one such area in engineering where experimental verification of the reliability of design & construction principles is difficult due to numerous variables involved. These variables include random nature of parameters of ground motion that is going to hit the structure and also improper understanding of nonlinear behaviour of structure itself. Due to this reason large number of researchers rely on numerical simulations inspite of having state-of-the-art facilities. However, there are some important points which only a large scale experiment will be able capture and one such experiment is earthquake event itself. Post earthquake studies are very important to understand the deficiencies of design & construction from the collapsed structures and also to understand strong points from the structures which resist earthquake forces.
Last Revision: 13 April 2007
(c) Earthquake Engineering Research Centre, IIIT Hyderabad