The Northeast region is considered the world’s sixth most earthquake-prone belt. Located at the northernmost tip of India, Arunachal Pradesh is protected from major impacts during earthquakes because of its geology.
‘Even though during the recent earthquake Arunachal Pradesh was in a 50 km radius range from the epicentre – Manipur’s Tamenglong, the impact was not as much when compared to the other states of the Northeast,’ said B.K. Rastogi, former Director General of Gandhinagar-based Institute of Seismological Research (ISR),’ adding, ‘The geology of Arunachal Pradesh is quite different from other parts of the Northeast.’
‘The soil in most of the states is alluvial which magnifies the seismic waves, but Arunachal is mostly rocky which doesn’t have similar amplification effects,’ explained Rastogi.
Durgesh C Rai, faculty of IIT-Kanpur’s National Information Centre of Earthquake Engineering, lamented that Northeast is yet to learn lessons, despite its vulnerability. ‘Copying building designs from other cities for modernisation is not right. Buildings in earthquake prone regions should be according to the site-specific codes,’ he opined.