Building Codes Must Be Followed, Earthquake Expected

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The April 2015 Nepal Earthquake, also called as the Gorkha Earthquake was one of the most destructive calamities that have ever occurred in the entire nation. The death toll crossed the 9000 mark and caused destruction that amounts in great numbers.

Earthquakes are regarded as reapers of death, each one of them leaves behind a trail of bodies and debris. Earthquakes are a result of a collision between two tectonic plates. The energy released by these collisions are measured using a Richter Magnitude Scale. Higher the magnitude on this scale, more dangerous the Earthquake proves to be.

A magnitude 5 earthquake releases as much energy as the “Little Boy” released when it struck the Japanese city of Hiroshima. While the recent Nepal Earthquakes had a magnitude of 7.8, which is not of the highest order with respect to other major ones like the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake (9.1 Magnitude) or as destructive as the 2001 Gujarat Earthquake, but they managed to reveal a few facts about the buildings we construct.

The Himalayan range and the area surrounding to it, is an extremely Earthquake prone zone. And to limit the catastrophe, there are certain building codes that need to be followed by builders and developers in the region. The East India region, Delhi and the surroundings just like Nepal fall under the same high-risk region, the building codes apply for these regions as well.

What has revealed in the aftermath of Nepal earthquake was that the buildings constructed were erected without following necessary building codes, hence leading to a great deal of damage, which could have been avoided.

Areas around the Seismic regions are advised and prohibited from building high storey buildings, most of the times the blueprints of these building are made abiding by the guidelines. But when it comes to constructing the structure, corruption comes into play and a ten storey building would end up into a 17 storey building, just a saying. Earthquakes partially drive more destruction towards high storey buildings is a well-known fact.

Another great observation made was that the soil test or the geological test that needs to be conducted ethically, was pretty much compromised around the earthquake prone locations, regardless of the chances of earthquake hitting a low-risk region is quite minuscule.

It is necessary that rules are being followed, and proper engineers and government employees are consulted before planning and building a structure, tall or short, either way in the high-risk regions. It is advisable to construct structures on a larger patch of land than normal in regions with higher levels of seismic activities.

Earlier this year, geologists claimed that we can expect an earthquake of the higher magnitude that of up to 8.2 magnitude which will be hitting the Himalayas and the northern regions of the country. The national capital, Delhi, is under the threat from the same.

It is a known fact that the building codes are not followed ideally in the region. This puts the people and property susceptible in a detrimental state and to avoid this calamity, the officials might have to follow strict actions against every structure erected, a major financial loss too.

 

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Jay Bhargav

I believe Technology will be the bellwether for mankind and I enjoy a good talk on Global Affairs. Some of my other indulgences - Motorcycles, New Words for my Vocabulary and Delicious Food Everyday.

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