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IIT Kharagpur’s city-level maps to help cut damage from earthquakes

city-level maps
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Scientists at IIT Kharagpur are developing detailed city-level maps that can help identify areas likely to experience maximum damage in the event of an earthquake.

The research will help state governments quickly identify areas with high hazard risk and send in rescue and relief teams when a disaster strikes, without losing precious time manually surveying the affected region.

Nath presented his research, which he says encompasses 25 years of his work, at the 16th Symposium on Earthquake Engineering organized at IIT Roorkee, Uttarakhand in collaboration with the Indian Society of Earthquake Technology.

Seismic micro-zoning is a technique that involves mapping the different factors such as plate tectonics, soil quality, ground motion equations, topography, type of buildings etc to understand which areas within a city may get most affected by an earthquake.

It also takes in to account secondary hazards such as the landslides or floods that may be triggered by quakes.

The system can also help state governments estimate the funds required for rescue and rehabilitation after disaster strikes.

For example, using his model Nath estimates that the city of Kolkata may bear losses of up to 231 million in the event of an earthquake.

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