Professor ML Sharma, Seismic Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee Abhay Anand | July 1 2020 – 10:49 AM India Standard Time
New Delhi: The National Capital Region has witnessed about a dozen earthquakes in the past two months, with the latest series in early June causing panic among the millions who live in this region. The Delhi resident is worried about what to do to keep them safe. ML Sharma, Professor of Seismic Engineering Department at Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee spoke to Careers360 about Safety Procedures, IIT Roorkee Program in Seismic Engineering and the phenomenon itself. Track edited extracts.
Q: The Delhi-NCR region has experienced more than 10 low to moderate earthquakes in the past two months. Why the sudden increase in frequency?
a. The earthquake process is a dynamic system in which energy accumulates due to plate movements and is released in the form of earthquakes. There are many seismic features around Delhi such as the Delhi-Haridwar series also called the Delhi-Mahindargarh series, Suna error, Mathura error, Rajasthan big frontier fault and other geological features. Accumulation and release of stress is a very complex phenomenon, and increases or decreases in earthquake levels may not lead to interpretations.
Q: Some scientists have predicted that Delhi – NCR may soon be hit by a major earthquake. do you agree?
a. The system is capable of generating a moderate earthquake. This is why Delhi also remains in the fourth seismic zone. Many research papers have already estimated seismic risk and the possibility of moderate earthquakes is always considered while going for any construction or design work that considers seismic forces at design level.
Q: What precautions or awareness should be taken to inform the residents of the area?
A: The public should be made aware of BIS (Indian Standards Bureau) recommendations that it says are in the fourth earthquake zone which is the second highest seismic region in India.
Moreover, solutions or features should be defined in the form of earthquake-resistant designs for new structures and modification of old buildings for everyone, and the government must train all stakeholders. Disaster mitigation plans must be prepared, managed and published to the public, and therefore, mock exercises can be conducted at appropriate intervals.
Q: Is there a way to predict an earthquake? Is there a possibility of an earthquake warning system?
a. No. An earthquake warning can only be issued after an earthquake. This warning is issued based on the recordings at the center of the earthquake and the benefit of a very large difference in the speed of electronic waves and seismic waves, and the warning is issued to farthest areas around the impending seismic waves. The time limit in the alarm system is one of the important parameters and can save many lives.
Q: IIT Roorkee runs an earthquake engineering program. What is the specialization of this program?
A: The Seismic Engineering Department, which was established in 1960, trains manpower and creates human resources in seismic engineering. Presently, civil engineers are trained in the regular Master’s degree program in three disciplines which are structural dynamics, soil dynamics, seismic weakness and risk assessment.
In addition, most faculty members actively participate in BIS for software provisions regarding earthquake engineering, participate in national and international forums, consult almost all major engineering projects in India and some abroad, obtain seismic data in the field and train the trainers who provide In turn, training related to earthquake engineering.
Q: IITs have withdrawn from sectors that do not have a market or do not provide employment. What was your experience?
A: We have always been strategically positioning students with regard to the best profiles, taking into account students’ perspective and preferences. Therefore, there is no such thing as withdrawing from anywhere. This time also, we will strategically match the profile, preferences, and capabilities of students with those of companies.
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