Is Delhi-NCR At Risk Due To Earthquake?

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how dangerous are earthquakes in delhi

Also, take a look at the list of most earthquake-prone areas in New Delhi


New Delhi has witnessed four earthquakes in a span of 33 days since April 12. Although the magnitude of the earthquakes ranged from mere 2.2 to 3.5 on the Richter scale, the frequency of earthquakes has brought questions in the mind of Delhiites. Many of the people who are living in the city and many whose beloved ones are residing in the city are concerned about the recent intimacy of capital with the earthquakes. In this article, we will answer the queries of all the concerned people by understanding how vulnerable Delhi and its people are to the earthquakes.

According to experts, Delhi is more prone to earthquakes as it lies in the high-risk seismic zone. The high density of population and high raises in Gurugram makes the Delhi NCR region more risky.

The capital city last faced its seismic activity with epicenter in the city itself, around 295 years back. New Delhi has felt tremors and even faced damage when earthquakes of high magnitude have hit the neighbouring areas of the Himalayan region. However, in the last four earthquakes since April 12, no damage to lives or properties have been reported.

New Delhi comes under Zone IV of the seismic map of India. National Centre for Seismology suggests that Zone IV has a high probability of earthquakes that can be devastating.

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Which areas in Delhi NCR are more at high risk?

During a high magnitude earthquake, places along the Yamuna will be amongst the most vulnerable. A report of Ministry of Earth Sciences ‘seismic hazard microzonation’ of Delhi suggests that Lutyens Zone, including the Parliament, several central ministries and VIP residential buildings fall under the ‘high risk’ zones. But because of the density of population, these places not as vulnerable as the areas along the Yamuna. AIIMS, JNU, Naraina and Chhatarpur comes under the safest areas while high-risk zones are mostly in patches of the eastern, northern and central part of New Delhi.

Hauz Khas and Vasant Kunj area in New Delhi falls under ‘hazard zone’. North Campus of Delhi University, Gita Colony, Sarita Vihar, Rohini, Jahangirpuri, Paschim Vihar, Shakarpur, Wazirabad, Rithala, Karol Bagh, Rohini, Janakpuri and Bawana come under the ‘high hazard zone’. IGI airport, Najafgarh and Burari fall under second worst ‘high risk’ zone category.

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Gurugram is more vulnerable than Delhi

Gurugram, part of Delhi NCR region sits on seven fault lines which makes it the most-riskiest area of the Delhi NCR region. If any of these seven fault lines becomes active, it can cause an earthquake up to a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale. The 1960 earthquake along the Delhi-Gurgaon border of 6.2 magnitude almost damaged 200 structures, killed & injured several individuals. That time, Gurugram was just a village, today it is densely populated with many tall buildings. If the earthquake of the same magnitude occurs today, it will cause way more devastation.

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