Shillong,June 13: Looking back at the 12th June 1897 Shillong Earthquake, and recalling on a major geological changes in the northeastern region and its adjacent areas. A one-day workshop on ‘Recalling the Great Shillong Earthquake of June 12, 1897: Quest for a Reliable and Effective Mitigation and Post Disaster Strategies’ was organised by NEC in collaboration with North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC), Monday at NEC Auditorium.
Speaking at the gathering, NEC Secretary, Ram Muivah, said that it is mandatory to establish equipment for early warning signs using satellite data as well as training to be organised for state disaster management.
Recollecting the earthquake of 1897, he said, “I saw black and white photos of the earthquake and everything is demolished and this highlights the importance of preparedness.”Stating that role of engineers comes to the fore to construct tall but earthquake-resistant buildings.
Delivering the speech as chief guest, P.P Shrivastav, Member, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), said an earthquake-resilient buildings should be laid more importance and not on earthquake-resistant buildings.
Srivastava said, earthquake early sign has to be present so as to mobilise the society and reduce casualty. Adding that below the earth’s surface, tectonic plates are moving and earthquakes will continue to happen.
P.L.N Raju, Director of North Eastern Space Applications Center (NESAC), said unlike floods, it is difficult to predict if an earthquake of a similar magnitude will strike again as the 1897 temblor was of the highest magnitude registering 8.8 on the Richter scale.
“The workshop was held to recall the incident and to take action for developing early warning systems, Earthquakes take place underground and there is still so much that we don’t know, so it is very difficult to predict,” P.L.N Raju told the gathering at the workshop .
Adding that for floods we have a fairly developed early warning system so we can caution the public 12-36 hours in advance. An early warning prediction is also about thunderstorms, which are about to happen wherein such cases we can predict and provide information, and even forest fire alerts can be given using satellite data.
However, Raju said NESAC is striving to establish equipment that will help it find out the precursor information. Analysing on the authentic damage after the disaster, NESAC can assess and provide information which will help governments ensure post-disaster mitigation measures.