2. Prof. Pankaj Pant SUBMITTED-
BY- (Dept. of Geology)
Govt. P.G. College Rishikesh M.SC 4TH
I am very thankful to, Dr. D.C. NAINWAL (Principal and H.O.D) and
Prof. PANKAJ PANT who always guided me at every step during my
M.sc and dissertation work and also staff of Geology department Mr .D.R.
JOSHI Lab Supervisor), Smt. Rajeshwari Devi and Mr Dataram (Lab
material bearer) in providing material related to my project.
I am also thankful to my parents and dear friends who always
inspired me during my dissertation work.
At last I am thankful to all those people who encourage and help
me in completing this project.
This is certify that the work presented in this dissertation
embodies the original work of the candidate as well as from reliable
sources such as standard books and approved websites.
b. DISASTER MANAGEMENT
c. HAZARD, HOW IS IT CLASSIFIED
2. DISASTER MANAGEMENT CYCLE
3. EFFECT OF DISASTER
4. CHARACTERISTICS OF DISASTER
5. DISASTER VS. HAZARD
7. NATURAL DISASTER
8. MAN MADE DISASTER
9. MAJOR NATURAL DISASTERS IN INDIA
10. MAJOR MAN MADE DISASTERS
11. DISASTER MANAGEMENT
12. PHASES OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT
SEISMIC ZONE OF INDIA
UTTARAKHAND EARTHQUAKE ZONATION:- ZONE IV & V
MAJOR EARTHQUAKES IN UTTARAKHAND
Disasters are as old as human history but the dramatic increase and the damage
caused by them in the recent past have become a cause of national and
international concern. Over the past decade, the number of natural and
manmade disasters has climbed inexorably. From 1994 to 1998, reported
disasters average was 428 per year but from 1999 to 2003, this figure went up to
an average of 707 disaster events per year showing an increase of about 60 per
cent over the previous years. The biggest rise was in countries of low human
development, which suffered an increase of 142 per cent.
The figure shows the
deadliest disasters of
the decade (1992–
2001). Drought and
famine have proved to
be the deadliest
followed by flood,
economic loss related
to disaster events average around US $880 billion per year.
While studying about the impact we need to be aware of potential hazards, how,
when and where they are likely to occur, and the problems which may result of
In India, 59 per cent of the land mass is susceptible to seismic hazard; 5 per cent
of the total geographical area is prone to floods;8 per cent of the total landmass
is prone to cyclones; 70 per cent of the total cultivable area is vulnerable to
Apart from this the hilly regions are vulnerable to valanches /landslides
/hailstorms/ cloudbursts. Apart from the natural hazards, we need to know about
the other manmade hazards which are frequent and cause huge damage to life
and property. It is therefore important that we are aware of how to copewith
8. o It’s is a management which Dealing with and avoiding both
natural and man-made disasters.
o Preparedness before disaster.
o Rebuilding and supporting society after natural disasters
o What is involves in disaster management?
o Dealing with and avoiding both natural and man-made disaster
o Preparedness before disaster
o Supporting the society after disaster
The scenario in India is no different from the global context. The super cyclone
of Orissa (1999), the Gujarat earthquake (2001) and the recent Tsunami (2004)
affected millions across the country leaving behind a trail of heavy loss of life,
property and livelihood. Table 1.1 shows a list of some of the major disasters
have caused colossalimpact on the community.
The term disaster owes its origin to the French word “Desastre” which is a
combination of two words ‘des’ meaning bad and ‘aster’ meaning star. Thus the
term refers to ‘Bad or Evil star’.
A disaster can be defined as “A serious disruption in the functioning of the
community or a society causing wide spread material, economic, social or
environmental losses which exceed the ability of the Effected society to cope
using its own resources”.
A disaster is a result from the combination of hazard, vulnerability and insufficient
capacity or measures to reduce the potential chances of risk. A disaster happens
when a hazard impacts on the vulnerable population and causes damage and
Figure would give a better illustration of what a disaster is Any hazard -flood,
earthquake or cyclone which is a triggering event along with greater
vulnerability (inadequate access to resources, sick and old people, lack of
awareness etc.) would lead to disaster causing greater loss to life and property.
For example; an earthquake in an inhabited desert cannot be considered a
disaster, no matter how strong the intensities produced.
Table 2 Fig: for understanding that what is a “disaster”
An earthquake is disastrous only when it affects people, their properties and
activities. Thus, disaster occurs only when hazards and vulnerability meet. But
it is also to be noted that with greater capacity of the individual/community and
environment to face these disasters, the impact of a hazard reduces. Therefore,
10. we need to understand the three major components namely hazard, vulnerability
and capacity with suitable examples to have a basic Understanding of disaster
DISASTER vs HAZARD
o “Disaster” is a suddenphysical event which affect human’s society
and economic life.
o While that event does not affect human’s life then it’s called hazard
o Every day many disaster comes on Earth but we can’t say them
Or a physical event or human’s activity that may cause the loss of
life/property and injury.
What is a Hazard?
o Hazard may be defined as “a dangerous condition or event, that threat or have
the potential for causing injury to life or damage to property or the
environment.” The word ‘hazard’ owes its origin to the word ‘hasard’ in old
French and ‘az-zahr’ in Arabic meaning ‘chance’ or ‘luck’. Hazards can be
grouped into two road categories namely natural and manmade.
The extent of damage in a disaster depends on:
1) The impact, intensity and characteristics of the phenomenon and
2) How people, environment and infrastructures are affected by that
This relationship can be written as an equation:
Disaster Risk = Hazard +Vulnerability
What is Vulnerability?
o Vulnerability may be defined as “The extent to which a community, structure,
services or geographic area is likely to be damaged or disrupted by the impact of
particular hazard, on accountof their nature, construction and proximity to hazardous
terrains or a disaster prone area.”
o Vulnerabilities can be categorized into-
1. Physical and
2. socio-economic vulnerability.
Physical Vulnerability: It includes notions of who and what may be damaged or
destroyed by natural hazard suchas earthquakes or floods.
It is based on the physical condition of people and elements at risk, such as
buildings, infrastructure etc; and their proximity, location and nature of the hazard. It
also relates to the technical capability of building and structures to resist the forces
acting upon them during a hazard event.
12. Figure shows the settlements which are located in hazardous slopes. Many
landslide and flooding disasters are linked to what you see in the figure 1.3. Unchecked
growth of settlements in unsafe areas exposes the people to the hazard. In case of an
earthquake or landslide the ground may fail and the houses on the top may topple or
slide and affect the settlements at the lower level even if they are designed well for
Socio-economic Vulnerability: The degree to which a population is affected by
a hazard will not merely lie in the physical components of vulnerability but also
on the socioeconomic conditions.
The socio-economic condition of the people also determines the intensity of the
impact. For example, people who are poorand living in the sea coastdon’thave
the money to constructstrong concrete houses.
They are generally at risk and lose their shelters whenever there is strong wind
or cyclone. Because of their poverty they too are not able to rebuild their
Risk is a “measure of the expected losses due to a hazard event occurring in a
area over a specific time period. Risk is a function of the probability of
Hazardous event and the losses each would cause.”
The level of risk depends Upon:-
a) Nature of the hazard.
b) Vulnerability of the elements which are affected.
c) Economic value of those elements.
A community/locality is said to be at ‘risk’ when it is exposed to hazards and is
likely to be adversely affected by its impact. Whenever we discuss ‘disaster
it is basically ‘disaster risk management’. Disaster risk management includes all
measures which reduce disaster related losses of life, property or assets by
either reducing the hazard or vulnerability of the elements at risk.
Ways of disaster risk reduction-
Disaster Risk Reduction can take place in the following ways-
This protective process embraces measures which enable governments,
communities and individuals to respond rapidly to disaster situations to cope
with them effectively.
Preparedness includes the formulation of viable emergency plans, the
development of warning systems, the maintenance of inventories and the
training of personnel. It may also embrace search and rescue measures as well
as evacuation plans for
13. areas that may be at risk from a recurring disaster. Preparedness therefore
encompasses thosemeasures taken before a disaster event which are aimed at
minimising loss of life, disruption of critical services, and damage when the
Mitigation embraces measures taken to reduce boththe effect of the hazard and
the vulnerable conditions to it in order to reduce the scale of a future disaster.
Therefore mitigation activities can be focused on the hazard itself or the
elements exposed to the threat. Examples of mitigation measures which are
hazard specific include water management in drought prone areas, relocating
people away from the hazard prone areas and by strengthening structures to
reduce damage when a hazard occurs.
In addition to these physical measures, mitigation should also aim at reducing
the economic and social vulnerabilities of potential disasters.
Disaster Management Cycle
Disaster Risk Management includes sum total of all activities, programmes and
measures which can be taken up before, during and after a disaster with the purpose
to avoid a disaster, reduce its impact or recover from its losses.
The three key stages of activities that are taken up within disaster risk management
1. Before a disaster (pre-disaster)-
Activities taken to reduce human and property losses caused by a potential hazard.
For example carrying out awareness campaigns, strengthening the existing weak
structures, preparation of the disaster management plans at household and
community level etc. Such risk reduction measures taken under this stage are termed
as mitigation and preparedness activities.
2. During a disaster (disaster occurrence)-
Initiatives taken to ensure that the needs and provisions of victims are met and
suffering is minimized. Activities taken under this stage are called emergency
3. After a disaster (post-disaster)- Initiatives taken in responseto a disaster with a
purposeto achieve early recovery and rehabilitation of affected communities,
immediately after a disaster strikes. These are called as responseand recovery
14. EFFECTSOF DISASTER:-
o Loss of life and properties
o Loss of Properties
o Environmental loss
o Increase in communicable disease
o Obstruction of development
15. CHARACTERISTIC OF DISASTER:-
o high potential
o high intensity
o happen in short time
CLASSIFICATION OF DISASTER
o NATURAL DISASTER
o MAN MADE DISASTER
1. Natural disasters are hazards which are caused because of natural phenomena
(hazards with meteorological, geological or even biological origin). Examples
of natural hazards are cyclones, tsunamis, earthquake
and volcanic eruption which are exclusively of natural origin. Landslides,
floods, drought, fires are socio-natural hazards since their causes are both
natural and man-made. For example flooding may be caused because of heavy
rains, landslide or blocking of drains with human waste.
2. Manmade disasters are hazards which are due to human negligence.
Manmade hazards are associated with industries or energy generation facilities
and include explosions, leakage of toxic waste, pollution, dam failure, wars or
civil strife etc.
The list of hazards is very long. Many occurfrequently while others take place
occasionally. However, on the basis of their genesis, they can be categorized as
TYPES OF DISASTER
16. 4.PHASES OF DISASTER
PRE IMPACT PHASES:-
o It should be in the form of money, manpower and materials(food,
o Evaluation from pastexperiences
o Mark the disaster prone area
o Social awareness
E.g. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) plays a key role in
forewarning the disaster of cyclone-storms
o RELIEF AND HELP
POST IMPACT PHASES:-
EARTHQUAKE HAZARD:-An Earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor
or temblor) is the perceptible shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from
the sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves.
Earthquakes can be violent enough to toss people around and destroy whole cities.
The seismicity or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size
of earthquakes experienced over a period of time.
MEASUREMENT OF EARTHQUAKE
17. Earthquakes are measured using observations from seismometers. The moment
magnitude is the most common scale on which earthquakes larger than
approximately 5 are reported for the entire globe. The more numerous
earthquakes smaller than magnitude 5 reported by national seismological
observatories are measured mostly on the local magnitude scale, also referred to
as the Richter magnitude scale. These two scales are numerically similar over
their range of validity. Magnitude 3 or lower earthquakes are mostly almost
imperceptible or weak and magnitude 7 and over potentially cause serious
damage over larger areas, depending on their depth. The largest earthquakes in
historic times have been of magnitude slightly over 9, although there is no limit
to the possible magnitude. Intensity of shaking is measured on the modified
Mercalli scale. The shallower an earthquake, the more damage to structures it
causes, all else being equal.
ZONES OF EARTHQUAKE-
o Ring of Fire
o Mid-Atlantic Ridge
o Alpide Belt
SEISMIC ZONE OF INDIA
TOTAL ZONES IN
o ZONE II
o ZONE III
o ZONE IV
o ZONE V
UTTARAKHAND EARTHQUAKE ZONATION:-
o Zone IV-Other District
o PRE DISASTER
o DURING DISASTER
o POST DISASTER
o DISASTER PROFILE IN INDIA:-
The Indian subcontinent is among the world’s most disaster prone areas. Almost
85% of India’s area is vulnerable to one or multiple hazard. Of the 29 states and
7 union territories, 22 are disaster-prone.
19. It is vulnerable to wind storms spawned in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian
Sea, earthquakes caused by active crustal movement in the Himalayan
mountains, floods brought by monsoons, and droughts in the country’s arid and
Almost 57% of the land is vulnerable to earthquake (high seismic zones lll-V),
68% to drought, 8% to cyclones and 12% to floods. India has also become much
more vulnerable to tsunamis since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Of the earthquake-prone areas, 12% is prone to very severe earthquakes, 18% to
severe earthquakes and 25% to damageable earthquakes. The biggest quakes
occur in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Kutch, Himachal and the North-
East. The Himalayan regions are particularly prone to earthquakes.
The last two major earthquakes shook Gujarat in January 2001 and Jammu and
Kashmir in October 2005. Many smaller-scale quakes occurred in other parts of
India in 2006. All 7 North East states of India – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh,
Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya; Andaman & Nicobar
Islands; and parts of 6 other states in the North/North-West (Jammu and
Kashmir, Uttaranchal, and Bihar) and West (Gujarat), are in Seismic Zone V.
About 30 million people are affected annually. Floods in the Indo-Gangetic-
Brahmaputra plains are an annual feature. On an average, a few hundred lives
are lost, millions are rendered homeless and several hectares of crops are
damaged every year.
Nearly 75% of the total rainfall occurs over a short monsoon season (June –
September). 40 million hectares, or 12% of Indian land, is considered prone to
floods. Floods are a perennial phenomenon in at least 5 states – Assam, Bihar,
Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
On account of climate change, floods have also occurred in recent years in areas
that are normally not flood prone. In 2006, drought prone parts of Rajasthan
About 50 million people are affected annually by drought. Of approximately 90
million hectares of rain-fed areas, about 40 million hectares are prone to scanty
or no rain. Rainfall is poor in nine meteorological subdivisions out of 36
subdivision (each meteorological sub division covers a geographic area of more
than ten revenue districts in India).
In India annually 33% area receive rainfall less than 750 mm (low rainfall area)
and 35 % area receive between 750 to 1125 mm rainfall Medium rainfall) and
only 32 percent falls in the high rainfall (>1126 mm) zone.
About 8% of the land is vulnerable to cyclones of which coastal areas
experience two or three tropical cyclones of varying intensity each year.
Cyclonic activities on the east coast are more severe than on the west coast.
The Indian continent is considered to be the worst cyclone-affected part of the
world, as a result of low-depth ocean bed topography and coastal configuration.
The principal threats from a cyclone are in the form of gales and strong winds;
torrential rain and high tidal waves/storm surges.
Most casualties are caused due to coastal inundation by tidal waves and storm
surges. Cyclones typically strike the East Coast of India, along the Bay of
Bengal, i.e. the states of West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu,
but also parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat at the Arabian Sea West Coast.
Landslides occur in the hilly regions such as the Himalayas, North-East India,
the Nilgiris, and Eastern and Western Ghats. Landslides in India are another
recurrent phenomenon. Landslide-prone areas largely correspond to earthquake-
prone areas, i.e. North-west and North-East, where the incidence of landslides is
Cold waves are recurrent phenomenon in North India. Hundreds if not
thousands of people die of cold and related diseases every year, most of them
from poor urban areas in northern parts of the country. According to India’s
Tenth Five Year Plan, natural disasters have affected nearly 6% of the
population and 24% of deaths in Asia caused by disasters have occurred in
Between 1996 and 2001, 2% of national GDP was lost because of natural
disasters, and nearly 12% of Government revenue was spent on relief,
rehabilitation and reconstruction during the same period. As per a World Bank
study in 2003, natural disasters pose a major impediment on the path of
economic development in India
Disaster Management – A New Approach:
Disaster Management is an effort to inquire into the process of a hazard turning
to disaster to identify its causes and rectify the same through public policy.
Therefore disaster management is a policy issue concerned with minimizing and
preventing the damaging impact of a natural or manmade hazard.
Some of the policy and administrative factors relevant to disaster management
are such as poor and weak or overcrowded buildings in earthquake prone zone,
poor land use planning in flood prone areas, inadequate and faulty laws
21. regulating various processes and facilities, general low risk perception towards
among people etc.
The above description of disaster management underlines the difference
between the hazard and the disaster. A hazard is a natural or manmade damaging
event which is beyond the effective control of human being, whereas the
disaster is the sum total of consequences of natural hazard due to vulnerability
of people or regions subject to hazard.
Thus same natural hazard may produce different amount of disastrous impact on
different group of people or regions. The new approach to disaster management
evolved gradually in 1990s beginning with the declaration of 1990-2000 by UN
General Assembly as the International Decade of Natural Disaster Reduction.
The major disasters such as tsunami in Asia in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in U.S.
in 2005 and Muzaffarabad Earthquake in 2005 and underlined the importance of
the new approach across the world. The United Nation Report titled “Living
with risk” claims that though there has been decline in the number of losses to
human lives from disaster the occurrence of disaster is rising.
The Yakohama Strategy for disaster management was renewed at the world
conference on Disaster Reduction held at Hyogo (Japan) in Jan. 2005. The
conference laid emphasis on some crucial but neglected aspects of disaster
management such as governance and policy framework, risk identification and
early warning, knowledge management, reducing risk factors and preparedness
for effective response and recovery.
The Hyogo conference adopted the framework of Action, 2005-2015 called
“Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disaster.”
As panic swept across India’s eastern coast in the aftermath of the massive 8.6
magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian coast on 12 April, 2012, the National
Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) set off the biggest disaster drill the
country has seen since the body was created.
The alert brought back memories of the devastating tsunami of 2004, in which
lakh people were killed worldwide. Before that, among the major quakes India
has seen was the one on April 4, 1905, an 8.25 rocker that hit the Kangra region
in Himachal. It had killed around 20,000 people. Then there were two very large
magnitude earthquakes in Bihar (1934) and Assam (1950).
Through these earthquakes and the authorities’ response to those, a “quake
philosophy” has been evolving continuously. Till the end of last century, the
essential administrative approach was, “Earthquakes cannot be predicted.”
This attitude experienced a thaw sometime after the disastrous Bhuj
earthquake of magnitude 8.0 on January 26, 2001. The administration started
considering how to save lives and manage disaster. Various state governments
were requested to set up a disaster management office. At the Government of
India level, two institutes were set up in New Delhi — the National Institute of
Disaster Management (NIDM) and the National Disaster Management
22. Authority (NDMA). The aim was to mitigate the damage potential of natural
disasters in future.
For once, the subject of disaster management had been taken seriously at the
governmental level. However, subsequent earthquakes proved that the
organisations were not able to check disasters. After Bhuj, there were two major
seismic events — the Andaman (Sumatran) earthquake-cum-tsunami of 26
December, 2004, and the Kashmir earthquake of October 8, 2005.
The disaster management bodies were not able to do anything to prevent deaths.
Even a moderate earthquake of magnitude 6.8 on September 18, 2011, in
Sikkim was a disaster. Most disaster management plans have thus far focused
on the post-seismic period of rescue, rehabilitation and reconstruction (RRR). In
a typical scenario, seismic shaking of moderate to large earthquakes lasts 35-45
If that time is divided into three parts of 12-15 seconds, then during the first
part, disaster managers are highly excited watching the terrain shake. During the
second part, they are in awe to see the collapse of structures. The third part has
them near tears, seeing the horrific deaths and destruction.
After the shaking stops, they rush to affected sites with stretchers, medicine,
rescue equipment, etc. All this amounts to rescue, not prevention. Tragically,
this is all that disaster management is about at present. There is no activity
during the pre-seismic and co- seismic period.
The problem has attained severe dimensions. The Geological Survey of India
(GSI), in a report presented to the Uttarakhand Government in July 2007,
observed that the probability of occurrence of a large magnitude earthquake —
more than magnitude 8.0 — in Uttarakhand was as high as 0.98%.
In seismological lexicon, one may say that as the magnitude of the
probabilistically predicted earthquake is very large, the statement is equally
applicable to Himachal Pradesh. Such an earthquake could severely affect an
area of about 200 km radius or more.
It could be said that the probability of occurrence of a large-magnitude
earthquake in the conglomerate of Uttarakhand and Himachal is as high as
Plan in Advance:
Under such unforeseen conditions, our managers need to plan some activities
during the pre-seismic period and also discuss what should be done during the
co-seismic period. Take every section of society in confidence and explain to
them the limits of earthquake prediction and how the administration plans to
overcome the odds.
It is a fact that the subject of earthquake prediction has not reached perfection. It
is difficult to predict earthquakes. On the other hand, if the administration
predicts an earthquake, and it does not occur, the administration has to face
23. The best way for disaster management offices is to create seismic awareness,
inform people about reliable seismic precursors events and indicators that may
be noted ahead of an impending earthquake.
24. New Directions for Disaster Management in India
o The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has been set up as the
apex body for Disaster Management in India, with the Prime Minister as its
o Disaster Management Authorities will be set up at the State and District Levels
to be headed by the Chief Ministers and Collectors/Zilla Parishad Chairmen
o A National Disaster Mitigation Fund will be administered by NDMA. States
and districts will administer mitigation funds.
o A National Disaster Response Fund will be administered by NDMA through
the National Executive Committee. States and Districts will administer state
Disaster Response Fund and Disaster Response Fund respectively.
o 8 Battalions of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are being trained
and deployed with CSSR and MFR equipments and tools in eight strategic
o A National Disaster Management Policy and National Disaster Response
Plan will also be drawn up.
Disaster Reduction Day-
o NIDM observed "Disaster Reduction Day" on the 12th October
o Rallies and special lectures were organized in the universities and colleges to
mark the initiatives of awareness for disaster reduction amongst youth &
o Children's Colour Activity Book for Disaster Preparedness
CASE STUDY--Chamoli (Himalaya, India) Earthquake of 29 March 1999
The Chamoli earthquake of 29 March 1999 in northern India is yet another
important event from the viewpoint of Himalayan seismotectonics and seismic
resistance of non-engineered constructions. The earthquake occurred in a part of
the Central Himalaya, which is highly prone to earthquakes and has been placed
in the highest seismic zone (zone V) of India. There has been a bitter
controversy during the recent years regarding the seismic safety of a 260-m-
high rock-fill dam under construction at Tehri, about 80 km west of the
epicenter. Fortunately, there are no major cities in the meizoseismal region and
the population density is the second lowest in the state. The earthquake caused
25. death of about 100 persons and injured hundreds more. Maximum
MSK(MEDVEDEV-SPONHEUER-KARNIK SCALE) intensity was up to VIII
at a few locations.
General Aspects of the Earthquake
The earthquake occurred at 00:35:13.59 hours (local time) near the town of
Chamoli in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India (Figure 1). The
magnitude is mb 6.3, MS 6.6 as per USGS, and it is mb 6.8, MS 6.5 as per India
Meteorological Department (IMD). The preliminary location of epicenters by
different agencies is somewhat inconsistent; 30°49.2′N, 79°28.8′E as per USGS,
and 30°17.82′N, 79°33.84′E as per IMD (Figure 2). Distances referred in this
report are with respectto the USGS location. Location of aftershocks recorded
and the damage pattern suggest that the zone of activity may be close to
Chamoli town; this region also showed a maximum intensity of VIII on MSK
scale. USGS estimate of the focal depth is 12 km.
26. FIGURE 1 -Sketch of northern India showing locations of two great
earthquakes, Kangra (1905) and Bihar (1934). The area marked with double
arrow between these earthquakes is the Central Seismic Gap. Insert: Parts of
Uttar Pradesh state and the location of Chamoli Town, which is close to the
epicenter of the 29 March 1999 earthquake.
The quake was felt at far-off places such as Kanpur (440 km south-east from the
epicenter), Shimla (220 km north-west) and Delhi (280 km south-west).
Maximum death and damage occurred in the district of Chamoli where about 63
persons died and over 200 injured; about 2,595 houses collapsed and about
10,861 houses were partially amaged. In all, about 1,256 villages were affected.
A few buildings at the far away mega-city of Delhi sustained non-structural
damages. No instances of liquefaction were reported. Longitudinal cracks in the
ground were seen in some locations in the affected area.
The earthquake was followed by intense aftershock activity; this included at
least 3 events of M >5. Most of the aftershocks are located to the east of
Chamoli (Figure 2). The fault-plane solution obtained from the USGS
(Figure 3, insert) indicates a pure thrust mechanism with two nodal planes
striking at 282° and 97°. The first one is preferred because it conforms to the
Figure 2: Aftershock locations of the 1999 Chamoli earthquake recorded up to 8
April 1999 as per data from India Metereological Department [IMD]
27. Figure 3: Spatial pattern of seismicity in Garhwal Himalaya during 1684-1985
with respectto two of the major thrusts MCT and MBT [Khattri et al,. 1989,
Proc. Indian Acad. Sci. (Earth. Planet. Sci.), 91-109]. The subsets MCT I, II, III
are not marked. Shaded dot indicates the location where maximum intensity
(VIII - IX on MM scale) was observed during the 1803 earthquake. Insert:
Fault-plane solution of the main shock at Chamoli.
Geologic and Tectonic Setting
The Himalayan mountain range, an outcome of the compressional processes
ensued by the India-Asia collision (70-40 Ma), has been undergoing extensive
crustal shortening along the entire 2400-km-long northern edge of the Indian
plate. A series of thrust planes is known to have formed as a result of these
processes.Three principal thrust planes in the Himalayan region are the Main
Central Thrust (MCT), the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) and the Main Frontal
Thrust (MFT). Two of the major thrusts and the regional seismicity are shown
in Figure 3.
The MCT is believed to have developed by an intra-crustal thrust that brought
up the mid-crustal level rocks of the Higher Himalayan Crystallines to the
Lesser Himalaya. Tectonically, it represents a ductile shear zone at depth,
comprising a duplex zone with three distinct sub-thrusts:MCT I, MCT II and
MCT III from south to north. Of these, MCT-I, the southernmost and the
youngest, appears to be seismically more active. Several damaging earthquakes
have occurred along these thrust faults, and there are continuing debates on the
current seismogenic potential of these fault systems. The M6.5 Uttarkashi
28. earthquake of 1991, centered about 70 km north-west of Chamoli town, is
considered to be associated with this fault. The Chamoli earthquake also
appears to be associated with the same fault. Observations of recent deformation
in the epicentral region also supportthis inference.
An Active Fold?
The Lesser Himalayan sequence lying between the MCT and the MBT shows
stacking of various groups of rocks characterized by south-vergent thrusts,
which were later folded into major scale synforms and antiforms. The
geological maps of the area indicate presence of anticlinal structure very close
to Chamoli. During the post-earthquake field investigation, some signatures of
recent deformation, associated with this anticline, were observed. A sharp
contact of MCT-I with recent/sub-recent deposits is identified near Chamoli on
the southern flanks of the anticline along the Alaknanda River. Thick deposits
of colluvium (boulders and pebbles intercalated with coarsesand) occurat the
foot of the steeper limb of the fold. The colluvium may have been remobilized
on an incipient slope due to the development of the growing fold. This contact
is interpreted to be the surface expression of an active fold. The above
observations are significant because the contact of the thrust plane occurs very
close to the epicentral zone of the Chamoli earthquake. Although the models for
many earthquakes including that at Uttarkashi suggest the rupture along MCT-I,
geological evidences for active faulting in this region are sparse. From this view
point, observations in the epicentral region of the Chamoli earthquake may
provide guidelines to identify active faults/folds in the Himalaya.
Historic and Current Seismicity
Historic and instrument data suggest fewer large earthquakes in the
region compared to the rest of the Himalaya (Figure 3). One
earthquake, probably of M>7, is reported to have occurred in this region on
1 September 1803. Several villages are reported to have been buried by the
rockfalls and landslides caused by that earthquake. The Badrinath temple
located ~40 km north of Chamoli was severely damaged during that earthquake.
Even though its location remains
uncertain, intensity reports suggest that the 1803 event may have occurred in the
same region affected by the current earthquake.
During the post-earthquake survey of the Chamoli earthquake, two temples,
one at Gopeshwar and the other at Makkumath, built during 7-12th century
were examined. These show evidences of severe damage during the 1803 event.
Many parts of these two temples have been reconstructed as indicated by the
inscriptions on their wall stones. Both these temples suffered only minor
vertical cracks during the current earthquake, in spite of them being located in
the meizoseismal area. This indicates that magnitude of the 1803 event may
have been much larger.
29. The limited instrumentally recorded data from this region suggest a northwest
oriented zone of moderate activity (Figure 3). Occurrence of two M >6
earthquakes within a span of eight years, a larger event 196 years ago and the
clustered micro-seismicity indicate strain accumulation in the region. The 700-
km-long seismic gap between the rupture zones of two great earthquakes,
namely the 1905 Kangra (M8.6) and the 1934 Bihar (M8.4), generally referred
to as the ‘Central Gap,’ is considered to be a potential area for a great
(Figure 1). An alternate view is that the strain in this stretch was partially or
totally released by the moderate earthquakes in the past. In this context, the
mechanism of large earthquakes in the region and their relation to strain
accumulation on MCT needs to be understood in greater detail.
Hill near Gopeshwar
Ground cracks at several places also developed as part of slope failure and these
posethreat to the down-slope settlements. Cracks were seen in asphalt roads at
some locations, indicating the possibility of failure due to ground slippage. At
several sites, large-scale earthquake-induced landslide/rock falls
were observed (Figure 6). Thosenear Gopeshwar, Chamoli and Gadi continued
even after a fortnight of the event. Interestingly, these rockslides are also
confined to locations along MCT-I.
30. Figure6: A major landslide about 1km north of Gopeshwar. It blocked the road
traffic to Okhimath for a considerable period.
In many ground water springs, flow increased by as much as ten times,
surpassing even the post-monsoondischarge. On the contrary, at village
Bairagna, the flow decreased and the water became muddy, indicating possible
fluidization and remobilization of fine sediments.
Intensity Distribution, SiteEffects and Strong Motion Records-
Figure 4 shows the intensity of shaking at some of the locations. The maximum
intensity was VIII on MSK scale (at Upper and Lower Chamoli and at Upper
Birahi). Intensity showed rather abrupt changes from one location to the other,
because of the site effects on river terraces composedofalluvial deposits of
sand and boulders. For instance, the right bank of the Birahi Ganga river has
two settlements: Upper and Lower Birahi about 1 km apart. The intensity of
shaking was VIII at Upper Birahi located on the river terrace at a higher
elevation, whereas it was only VI at Lower Birahi on hard rock. A forest
department checkpostjust across the river from Lower Birahi also showed
higher intensity (VII) due to its location on the river terrace. The intensity at
Lower and Upper
Chamoli was VIII, and that at Gopeshwar, located only 2 km aerial distance
away, was only V. While Chamoli is located on the river terrace, Gopeshwar is
at a higher elevation on the hill slopes. Intensity VII observed at Makkumath
located also on a river terrace about 20 km aerial distance from the epicenter is
another example of site amplification due to alluvial cover.
31. Figure4: Intensity variation
during the main shockand
location of aftershocks in the
affected area. Shaded portion
shows the trend of the fault as
per the fault-plane olution,
which is consistent with the
The area has a number of
analog strong motion accelerographs operated by the University of Roorkee.
Strong motion records were obtained at Gopeshwar(9 km away from the
epicenter), Joshimath (27 km), Okhimath (25 km) and Tehri (80 km). The peak
ground acceleration in the two horizontal and the vertical directions at these
locations are: Gopeshwar(0.20g, 0.36g, and 0.16g), Joshimath (0.071g, 0.063g,
0.041g), Okhimath (0.091g, 0.096g, 0.047g), Tehri (0.054g, 0.062g, 0.034g).
The acceleration time history at Gopeshwar shows a large pulse, typical of near-
Even though the 1991 Uttarkashi and the present Chamoli events are of
comparable magnitude and focal depth, the damage was much lower in the
latter. Several factors may have contributed to this. Villages in Uttarkashi are
located on well-developed river terraces of Bhagirathi river making them more
vulnerable to site effects as compared to Chamoli where the river terraces are
not so well developed. The Uttarkashi earthquake took place in October
immediately after the monsoons which lead to much higher incidents of slope
failures and foundation movements. Finally, the construction practices in
Chamoli area are much better, in comparisonto what existed in Uttarkashi in
In addition to numerous villages, the affected area has several small townships
along the major roads. Many of the villages are not connected by motorable
roads and are accessible only after considerable trekking. The building stockin
the affected area consists primarily of rural dwellings, with some urban houses
and a few modern constructions for office or commercial purposes in towns.
Load-bearing random rubble stone masonry in mud mortar formed the
predominant wall system employed in the area. Many constructions of the
32. recent years have been in brick or concrete block masonry in cement mortar.
The roofing system is usually thatch, tin sheets, slate tiles, or RC slabs. In
general, most roofs are pitched. Also, in the recent years, many reinforced
frame buildings with masonry infill walls have come up in the towns. To
accommodatethe ground slope, the buildings often have less number of storeys
on the hill side and more on the valley side. In general, most constructions are
non-engineered with no formal involvement of engineers in design or
construction. However, the style of construction has improved over the years
and many newer constructions, even in remote villages, have RC lintel band for
protection against earthquakes: a result of the awareness created by the 1991
Uttarkashi earthquake. Indian seismic codes (e.g., IS:4326-1993, IS:13827-
1993) recommend lintel band, in addition to other features, for improving the
seismic performance of load-bearing constructions. After the 1991 earthquake
compliance of the seismic codeprovisions in the government constructions in
this region may have improved and this may have been picked up by the
villagers through common contractors and masons. This earthquake provided a
good opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of lintel bands.
The traditional dwellings in the area are usually of one or two storeys with a
rather low storey height (about 1.65m). The walls are about 0.45-0.60m thick in
stone masonry with mud mortar and are usually of two types:
(a) Random rubblestone masonry using the undressed stones: The wall is
two separate sections, the outer and inner wythes, so that both surfaces are
smooth. The spacebetween the two wythes is filled with stone rubble.
(b) Masonry with slate wafers: Dressed stones (about 0.3m long, 0.15-
and 0.12m thick) and slate wafers (about 0.3m long, 0.15-0.2m wide and 0.005-
0.020m thick) are stacked tightly with very little or no mud mortar in between.
In carefully done walls of this type, the dressed stones appear at intervals of
about 0.5m along the length and about 0.3m along the height, else they appear
at random locations. Unlike in case of random rubble masonry, the rubble of
small stones is not dumped in the
middle region of the wall. Since
none of the slate wafers is wide
enough, this type of wall also has a
tendency to split and buckle into
two separate wythes due to lack of
33. Figure 7: Collapse of one of the wythes in a traditional house in slate wafer
Most of the dwellings have wood rafter roof supported directly on the
walls.Many very old constructions and a few new constructions have wood
rafter roof supported on vertical wooden posts. Relatively new constructions
often use reinforced concrete roof directly resting on the walls. These dwellings
have heavy roof mass and rather weak walls, and these performed poorly as
expected (Figure 8). Most of the deaths and injuries occurred due to the
collapses of such units. In fact, many older buildings owned by the government
also fall in this category. The police lock-up at Upper Chamoli consisted of
random rubble masonry in cement mortar; collapse of this building
killed six inmates and injured about twelve persons. However, the dwellings
with masonry walls in slate wafers performed better than those in random
rubble masonry. The most common damage pattern was the separation of
wythes following which the walls tended to buckle. Where wood rafter roofs
were used, partial cave-in of the roof along with the wall was also frequently
observed. Most onstructions using woodenpostsystem for supporting roof
were able to withstand the motion without collapse. However, the walls of these
structures were extensively damaged, and the houses were left unfit for
Figure8: Partial Collapse in a random rubble stone masonry. Note that The
front portion has RC beam supported on concreteblock columns and roof
consists of RC slab
Brick or Concrete Block Masonry Buildings
34. Several relatively new buildings in rural as well as urban areas are in burnt
brick masonry in mud or cement mortar. Since such bricks require long-distance
transportation from the plains, concrete block masonry is another form of
construction becoming popular in the area. In such buildings, the roofis usually
in reinforced concrete. The performance of such buildings has in general been
much better than that of the stone masonry buildings.
An interesting example of the short-column effect was observed at the passenger
waiting hall at Bedubagad (intensity VI), about 2km from Birahi towards
Chamoli. This is a newly-constructed single-storey concrete block masonry
structure with an RC roof. Along the perimeter of the hall, masonry walls were
raised between the columns up to half the storey height. At the north-east
a room has been provided for office spacemaking the building torsionally
unbalanced. The columns along the periphery became short columns as
to the interior ones and sustained more cracking. Moreover, the columns on the
west side sustained greater damage than those on the east side due to the
Masonry Buildingswith Lintel Band
Numerous dwellings built in recent years in villages as well as in towns are
provided with a reinforced concrete lintel band. These include both stone
masonry buildings and brick/concrete block masonry buildings (Figure9).
the rooms are provided with a RC shelf (about 0.45 m wide) projecting from the
wall at lintel level; it serves the dual
purposeof a storage slab and a lintel band.
Most houses with lintel band performed
very well, even though the quality
control in these dwellings may not have
been very good. Some buildings with
lintel band that sustained damage had
serious flaws with continuity of the band
Figure9: Two-storeyhouse at
35. Pipalkoti with no damage.
Ground storey in slate wafer
masonry, upper storey added
later in concrete block masonry.
Both storeys have RC lintel band.
Figure10: Partial collapse in a stone masonry house at Gadi village. Lintel
present in the front portion, does not continue in the side wall
are many RC
with brick infills
in the affected
Gopeshwar, being the district headquarters, has numerous such buildings up to
four storeys. Such buildings performed very well even though most of these
were not formally designed, and certainly not for seismic loads. The common
form of damage included separation cracks at the interface of the RC frame and
infill panels, and cracking of infills. This is in line with what has been
experienced in the 1991 Uttarkashi (M6.5) and 1997 Jabalpur (M6.0)
earthquakes in India. These buildings have simple structural configuration and
are characterized by small spans and small openings. The masonry infills
therefore act more like shear walls and not as non-structural elements. In fact, at
times, the construction of the masonry walls and the reinforced concrete
progresses simultaneously so as to save on the form work for the beams and
36. columns. Clearly, such buildings tend to be more like load bearing wall type
constructions with columns acting as corner reinforcement and beams acting as
a roof band. Interestingly, a number of such RC frame buildings were also
found to have RC lintel bands. This is the result of a rather common confusion
in some seismic regions of the country where coderequirements of lintel band
in masonry buildings are assumed to be applicable also to the RC frame
buildings with masonry infills. Many buildings were seen in the region with
about 15 cm to 30 cm length of column reinforcement projecting above the roof
for future vertical extension. Such buildings, if extended vertically, can be a
major problem in future earthquakes due to inadequate lap length.
Building DamageatFar Off Places
An interesting aspectof this earthquake was that a few buildings in Delhi (280
km aerial distance from epicenter) sustained some non-structural damage. For
instance, Tarang Apartments (Figure 11), an eight-storey building with open
ground storey, in Patpatganj area located on the banks of the Yamuna river,
sustained cracks in infill walls and separation of infills from RC frame at the
lowest storey. These damages, even though minor, underline the disaster
potential of Delhi not only from the nearby damaging earthquakes, but also
the large events in the far-off Himalaya. Many buildings in Dehradun (125 km
west of Chamoli town) sustained damage. For instance, some old buildings of
the Survey of India sustained collapse of gable masonry, and severe cracking
along the junctions between the pitched roof and the masonry walls.
37. Conclusions and Recommendations
The current “nonsystem” for providing information for disaster management is
not effectively utilizing a wealth of information that resides with various
organizations. Existing technologies could deliver to disaster managers
important new information products that could save lives, reduce damage to
property, and lessen the environmental impacts of natural disasters. Continued
improvements in technology should help make information more widely,
quickly, and reliably available—and at less cost. The current situation is
characterized by numerous shortcomings that inhibit optimal decision-making
for disaster management. The inability to access information and the lack of
standardization, coordination, and communication are all obstacles that a
disaster information network (DIN) could overcome. It is recommended that the
Global Disaster Information Network (GDIN) Transition Team move ahead in
planning for a disaster information network, taking into account the following
conclusions from the present study:
The need for an improved information network and its potential benefits are
clear. Chapter 3 establishes the need for an improved disaster information
system. There can be no justification for continuing in the current mode of
nonstandard disparate resources when available modern technologies would
make their linkage into one system a relatively straightforward matter, with
obvious potential payoffs in saving lives and reducing losses if the system is
The foundations for an information network are already in place. While a
significant undertaking, establishing a DIN would build on a substantial
foundation that already exists. The most costly element of building the basic
databases is well under way, and the community of users already exists. A
network could be established initially by coordinating existing information
resources and developing standards and protocols to ensure their reliability and
usability and effectively linking with the user
Suggested Citation: "4 Conclusions and Recommendations." National Research
Council. Reducing Disaster Losses Through Better Information. Washington,
DC: The National Academies Press, 1999. doi:10.17226/6363. ×
community. The cost of establishing the information system would be trivial
compared with the cost already spent in developing the resources.
The existing federal data-gathering and information programs (see Table 2-2)
reflect an enormous investment of funds, mostly public, and the dedicated and
sustained efforts of many investigators. These databases were derived from a
variety of endeavors, including instrumental monitoring, field surveys, data
compilations, and laboratory studies. Many of the efforts are of a continuing
38. nature, as data are updated and phenomena are continuously monitored.
Altogether, there has been, and continues to be, a very substantial investment of
resources in developing and maintaining the databases used for disaster
Despite the importance of these databases, their utility is impaired by a host of
problems deriving from incompatible formats, inconsistent geographic reference
systems, conflicting standards, and other human-caused factors. Many of these
problems could be resolved and the value and utility of the databases for
disaster decision-making greatly enhanced through improved organizational and
technological coordination with only an incremental increase in cost. It is
clearly in the public interest to do this.
Recent advances in technology provide the mechanism for establishing a
network. The Internet and high-speed telecommunications provide the necessary
technologies for establishing an information network. Through the Internet, a
DIN could be assembled by tapping data and information resources wherever
they happen to reside worldwide. Thus, problems associated with assembling
resources into a central repository are avoided, and the various organizations
Although the disaster may come anywhere, we can't stop it but we can minimize
the effect on our society and social life by pre disaster training or practice. We
should always ready for any hazard. In that training program our community,
school's childrens, NSS And NCC volunteer and our security forces etc play an
important role. School can be use as an resorts for victim peoples. Communities
can provide the information about any past hazard details. Before the disaster
we can calculate the hazard situation, vulnerability analysis, resources
analysis(by which we can reduce the hazard) better communication set up,
storage of essential things, analysis of medical services.
During the disaster includes searching, rescues, reduce the mental stroke,
help to public in take patient, provide first aid, management of food stocks etc.
After the disaster we have to rapidly observe the public life and properties loss,
restitution of social structures, distribution of rescue matter, iimprove the
communication system, repair the social structures and roads, and
reconstruction, stimulate the development etc.
1. A supplementary textbook in
Geography, for Natural hazards and
2. EERI, specialearthquake report, EERINewslettervol.33, no.7, july 1999