Earthquake Hazard Mitigation
Earthquakes are by far the most unpredictable and highly destructive of all the natural disasters. Unlike other disasters, the damages caused by earthquakes arc more devastating. Since it also destroys most of the transport and communication links, providing timely relief to the victims becomes difficult. It is not possible to prevent the occurrence of an earthquake; hence, the next best option is to an emphasis on disaster preparedness and mitigation rather than curative measures such as:
(i) Establishing earthquake monitoring centers (seismological centers) for regular monitoring and fast dissemination of information among the people in the vulnerable areas. Use of Geographical Positioning System (GPS) can be of great help in monitoring the movement of tectonic plates.
(ii) Preparing a vulnerability map of the country and dissemination of vulnerability risk information among the people and educating them about the ways and means minimizing the adverse impacts of disasters.
(iii) Modifying the house types and building designs in the vulnerable areas and discouraging construction of high-rise buildings, large industrial establishments and big urban centers in such areas.
(iv) Finally, making it mandatory to adopt earthquake-resistant designs and use light materials in major construction activities in the vulnerable areas.