V.C. Menon :Indians need be more prepared for natural calamities


Indians need be more prepared for natural calamities: Experts

2011-04-19 09:40:00
Last Updated: 2011-04-19 09:45:46
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New Delhi: Within a month after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck Japan, India experienced two moderate tremors. Were these warnings for something bigger? If experts are to believed, they were and say Indians need to be more prepared to deal with natural calamities.

"Some of these could also be seen as a precursor for something bigger, considering India's vulnerability to earthquakes because of its location in a high risk seismic zone," N.V.C. Menon, former member of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), said.

According to him, it is important to launch an awareness campaign to prepare Indian households to prepare them in responding to natural calamities such as the one that wreaked destruction in Japan.

"We could face massive destruction if a high intensity earthquake strikes India," Menon said, stressing there is the "need for a massive awareness campaign as people here are not clear about the steps needed to reduce the impact of an earthquake."

The government, under the aegis of NDMA, is working to enhance India's preparedness to face an event like that in Japan.

However, people should also prepare themselves to deal with an emergency, Menon said.

Households in quake-prone areas should prepare emergency kits with candles, medicines, match boxes, important documents and other necessary items so that they can evacuate immediately in the event of an earthquake.

Studies have shown that more than 60 percent of India is vulnerable to earthquakes and most of the deaths during a quake are caused by the collapse of buildings.

According to geographical data, Kashmir, Punjab, the western and central Himalayas, the northeastern region and the Rann of Kutch fall under the Zone 5 category, referred to as the Very High Damage Risk Zone.





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