Earthquakes have become a grim and deadly reality

Published: Fri 25 Jan 2019, 8:22 PM

Last updated: Fri 25 Jan 2019, 10:24 PM

The earthquakes in Indonesia and Chile a few days ago illustrate the awesome power of nature. These regions spanning many countries have fault lines that could destroy and devastate the entire area. These fault lines could produce deadly earthquakes, too. With the Pacific Ring of Fire being extremely active, the possibility of a mega quake becomes a grim and deadly reality.
India could face a megaquake within the next 20 years; 38 Indian cities are vulnerable to catastrophic earthquakes. Amongst them are Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Greater Mumbai, Kochi, Kolkata, Patna, Ahmedabad and Dehradun.
Research reveals that 58.6 per cent of land in India is highly vulnerable to earthquakes with 235 districts situated under active seismic zones. Megaquakes over the past 60 years are a warning that we should be better prepared for these huge geological catastrophes. The seismic gun has been cocked, it is indeed a seismic roll of the dice, we are on the cross-hairs of seismic armageddon.
On Boxing Day 2004, the world was shocked by one of the worst natural disasters of all time -the tsunami. Four hundred million people live in cities that are ready to erupt in a major earthquake. They are Panama City, Tehran, Istanbul, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Rio De Janerio. A earthquake could kill 1 million people in any one of these cities, according to experts.
On January 22 after the earthquake of magnitude 6.1 hit an Indonesian island shortly before another magnitude 6.6 quake struck the island again. Quakes are common these days. We cannot stop them, but we should deploy warning systems to save lives.
The writer is based in South Africa

By Farouk Araie

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