Ramakanta Biswas

At a time when sinking of land at Himalayan town Joshimath in Uttarakhand has emerged as a major concern, similar incidents of seismic events cannot be ruled out in Odisha.

As per the report of the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), the State is also at risk of natural disasters like earthquake of different intensities. 

The report says Odisha falls in 2 and 3 earthquake zones in the seismic mapping. The state is under moderately prone and partially prone zone category. 

As many as 14 districts come under the moderately prone zone (zone 2). The districts are Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati, Ganjam, Kandhamal, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Bolangir, Subarnapur, Boudh, Nayagarh and Keonjhar. 

Similarly, 16 districts-Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Angul, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Cuttack, Khordha, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj and Balasore- fall under zone 3 (partially prone zone).

As per the Ministry of Earth Science, considering the recorded history of earthquakes in the country, a total of 59 per cent of the land mass of India (covering all states of India) is prone to earthquakes of different intensities.

As per the seismic zoning map of the country, the total area is classified into four seismic zones. Zone V is seismically the most active region, while zone II is the least. Approximately, 11 per cent area of the country falls in zone V, 18 per cent in zone IV, 30 per cent in zone III and remaining in zone II.

The National Centre for Seismology under Ministry of Earth Sciences is the nodal agency of Government of India (GoI) for monitoring earthquakes in and around the country. 

For this purpose, NCS maintains a National Seismological Network (NSN) consisting of 115 observatories spread across the country. The information of earthquakes reported by NCS is being disseminated to concerned central and state disaster authorities in least possible time to initiate adequate mitigation measures.