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Imact of Earthquakes and Tremors in Delhi

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Recent earthquakes in Nepal have triggered tremors in Delhi and nearby areas, highlighting the seismic vulnerability of the region. Delhi's proximity to the Himalayan seismic zone poses risks, emphasizing the need for earthquake-resistant building codes, early warning systems, public awareness, and disaster response plans. Read on to learn more about how such earthquakes may affect Delhi-NCR.

The recent earthquake activity in Nepal has caused tremors in Delhi and neighboring areas. On November 3, 2023, an earthquake of 6.4 magnitude struck Nepal, resulting in strong tremors in North Indian cities, including Delhi-NCR. Similarly, on November 6, 2023, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake in Nepal caused strong tremors in Delhi and nearby cities

Potential Impact of Severe Earthquake in Delhi

The region's proximity to the seismically active Himalayan region makes Delhi susceptible to severe earthquake hazards. According to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, for shaking intensity VIII, 6.5% of houses in Delhi have a high damage risk, and 85.5% have a moderate damage risk. The impact of earthquakes on Delhi's economy can be significant, as the city is a major commercial and industrial center with potential far-reaching economic and political implications. However, specific data on the direct economic effects of recent earthquakes on Delhi is not available.

Major Earthquakes in the Past

According to the article from Down to Earth, Delhi is prone to earthquakes, and the highest earthquake experienced in Delhi in about a century was on July 27, 1960, which registered a magnitude of 5.6 (Richter scale). Few buildings in the New Delhi area were partly damaged during that quake. A seismic damage survey conducted by the Central Public Works Department (cpwd), estimated the damage at about Rs 5 lakh. 

Why Dehli Faces Earthquakes and Tremors

The article also states that Delhi is located about 200-400 km from different locations of the Main Boundary Thrust (mbt). An earthquake over 7.0 in the Shimla-Dehradoon/Pithoragarh (or western Nepal) ranges could cause tall structures in Delhi to fall - and this is scary - like a pack of cards. 

Risk of Damage in Dehli

The number of multi-storeyed buildings in Delhi in the last three decades or so has risen sharply. Several hundreds of buildings are at risk from surface fault rupture and soil liquefaction. The 2003 article also mentioned that neither the local nor the Union government had initiated any measures to protect the city

Mitigating Earthquake Impacts: The Role of Preparedness

Delhi's vulnerability to earthquakes necessitates a comprehensive approach to preparedness, including:

Earthquake-Resistant Building Codes

Implementing stringent building codes and ensuring their enforcement can significantly reduce the damage caused by earthquakes.

Earthquake Early Warning Systems

Developing and implementing an earthquake early warning system can provide crucial seconds of notice, allowing people to take cover and protect themselves from injury.

Public Awareness and Education

Public education campaigns can empower individuals and communities to take preventive measures and respond appropriately in the event of an earthquake.

Disaster Response and Recovery Plans

Robust disaster response and recovery plans are essential for ensuring efficient and effective response to earthquakes, minimizing damage, and facilitating a swift recovery.