New Delhi: Taking a lead, India is working on an ambitious project with scientists, geophysicists, and seismologists of 27 countries to develop an early-warning system for "prediction" of earthquake.
The warning could be the issued some seconds before the earthquake strikes. India is also planning to launch a satellite to track the changes that take place on earth's surface before the tremors, a top official has said.
"If the effort is successful and the model is developed, we could reduce the number of human casualties substantially. Before earthquakes, some chemical changes under the earth's surface and some physical displacements on the surface occur and hoped if parameters are developed to observe, study and analyse these changes, the quakes can be predicted.
"For this purpose, India is going to launch a satellite by 2019 which will send images of surface displacement up to the accuracy of few centimetres," Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Shailesh Nayak said.
He was speaking at a summit on 'Combating Earthquake Disasters' in Kolkata yesterday.
He added that "we are working on an ambitious project with scientists, geophysicists, and seismologists of 27 countries to develop an early warning system for prediction of earthquake."
Nayak said in the coming years deep bore-wells filled with sensors and other equipment will be put in place in all seismically-active regions in the country to sense the chemical and physical changes under the earth's surface.
India has been conducting experiments in the Koyna river valley in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra.
In India, 22 states are prone to earthquakes of various intensities like severe, high, moderate and low, and urban explosion and densely populated cities with high-rise buildings makes the quake scenario worse.
Sankar Kumar Nath, Professor, Geology and Geophysics, IIT Kharagpur, O P Mishra, senior scientist and DDG (Seismology) India Meteorological Department, Ambarish Ghosh, Prof of Civil Engineering & Head, School of Disaster Mitigation Engineering, Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology, Shibpur and Lt Gen N C Marwah, Member, National Disaster Management Authority were among those who participated in the conference.
Speakers emphasised on strict adherence to and implementation of 'Building Structure Codes' as in Japan to make them quake-resistant.