A report released by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) states that about 56 percent of India is prone to moderate to severe earthquakes while cities like Mumbai and Pune, due to their high density of population, are susceptible to "high exposure".
According to a report by The Indian Express, the NDMA study, titled Earthquake Disaster Risk Index (EDRI), suggests that in Maharashtra, the town of Ratnagiri is at a high risk for casualties in the event of an earthquake.
The NDMA, along with International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad, has created an EDRI for 50 cities and one district in India on a pilot basis, the IE report states. According to the report, the risk levels for casualties have been graded as low, medium and high.
According to the newspaper, regions which are seismically active in India, or which fall in seismic zones IV and V, were the main focus of the study. The cities for the pilot study were selected on the basis of their population density, whether they were identified as smart cities and based on their housing threat factor.
Of the 50 cities, 13 were found to be high risk, 30 medium risk and seven with low risk. The study, the newspaper states, was conducted by using a combination of physical surveys and risk assessment, which also helped the team to record vibration data on selected buildings.
This data, according to the IE report, was then fed into computer modelled buildings to simulate effects of earthquakes of various intensities. This helped the team recognise that buildings in Ratnagiri, for instance, are not designed for earthquakes.
One of the aims of the project is to increase general awareness about earthquakes and make homes earthquake resilient. The study suggests that "an inventory of the surveyed buildings" could be developed "such that it can be utilised in case of future events and which in turn help in planning and implementation of mitigation strategies".
The report also suggests "active participation" from three "principal" stakeholders, including academia, industry and the government.