Earthquake will wreak more havoc in capital than N-bomb

“Six minor earthquakes in 10 days sometimes is the precursor to a large one. The current local seismic behaviour is very similar to the one in Gujarat a few years back. The net effect can be more devastating than even a nuclear bomb in Delhi,” says the draft Disaster Management Plan, submitted to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) headed by Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung for approval.

“The Chinese centre for earth studies has a station in Tibet. The Tibetan monitoring systems are providing a similar reading in the southeast of Tibet. Satellite mappings are also pointing towards some unusual seismic activities in the Delhi area. The epicentres for the small earthquakes are clustered around a series of local fault-lines in Delhi,” it states.

The authorities in Delhi had taken up the task of updating its disaster management plan soon after the tremors of the massive earthquake in Nepal were felt in the capital on April 25. The Lt-Governor is expected to hold a meeting to discuss the draft plan in the first week of July. The draft plan states, “There is something called cycle of earthquakes. We looked into India’s major cycles. Delhi is due for a big one since 1999… It can come anytime during the next 70 years. If the small tremors subside and nothing happens for the next six months, probably nothing will happen for at least three years. However, when all evidences are put together, it does not look very good.” For disaster preparedness, the draft plan proposes to put the onus of strengthening mobile towers on mobile service providers, a senior government official said. “In order to ensure that communication networks do not collapse in the event of a disaster and rescue efforts are not crippled, we held a meeting with various mobile service providers and owners of mobile towers, and requested them to strengthen and retrofit these towers. We have given them time to examine the financial viability of the proposition and get back to us,” Ashwani Kumar, Secretary (Revenue/Disaster Management), said.