Buildings in Aizawl vulnerable to quake
Aizawl, Mar 21 : Most buildings in Aizawl have been constructed without certain safety measures and the fact that entire Mizoram falls under earthquake-prone zone, makes the city highly vulnerable to high-velocity tremors.
"Most of the buildings in Aizawl are far below the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) norms," an engineer said.
The engineer along with 29 other civil engineers had attended a five-day training on 'rapid visual screening methods' last week, jointly organised by National Disaster Management authority and Mizoram's Disaster Management and Rehabilitation department.
Experts from NCPDP, Ahmedabad Rajendra Desai, Rupal Desai and Professor (Rtd) Pratima Bose, gave training based on 'rapid visual screening of masonry buildings and rapid structural leh non-structural assessment of schools and hospital buildings in SAARC countries'.
In a practical exercise, the engineers conducted rapid visual screening on Mizoram fire brigade building, Aizawl civil hospital, and few other government buildings.
The US-based NRI seismologist Lalliana Mualchin has warned that massive earthquake as high as magnitude 8 can rock Mizoram anytime and the effect, especially in Aizawl, could be disastrous.
With all its unplanned concreted structures, the impact in the state capital Aizawl could be highly disastrous, the seismologist said.
As the buildings in Aizawl stand close to one another, that too on hill slopes supported by weak concrete stilts, the buildings will fall like domino effect, he
Heavy duty removal machines are the need of the hour which the government should give priority, saidthe scientist.' Collapsed buildings that will entirely block the roads and the difficult terrain will make rescue operation an uphill task even with these removal machines he warned.'
Dr Mualchin stated that a seismologist in the US, after visiting Aizawl a few years back, described the hill city as the most earth-quake vulnerable city.
He also strongly suggested that Mizoram government procures at least 50 units of weak motion instrument and 30 units of strong motion instrument to measure smaller vibration and strong vibration. These will help engineers identify vulnerable areas while building dams and other mega structures.
To reduce the vulnerability of Aizawl to earthquake, strict building regulations must be enforced and no more housing plots should be issued by the government within the city, he advised.
Concerned over the rising population in Aizawl city, he suggested that more satellite towns be established as city extension.
Emergency search and rescue team and earthquake-related hospital are also a must, besides other post-disaster management programmes, Dr Mualchin stated.
Stating that there are two approaches to earthquake - deterministic and probabilistic the seismologist recommended Deterministic approach for preparation of seismic hazard maps in Mizoram and the rest of the earthquake prone areas in India.
Dr Mualchin, who had worked with the governments of US, Japan, Switzerland, Italy and some Indian states, even accused the Mizoram government of being negligent about public safety.