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Graphs to assess damage to buildings if earthquake occurs

Earthquake graph

Earthquake graphHyderabad: The International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Hyderabad has developed graphs to assess damage to buildings in the event of an earthquake.

It has installed hi-precision state-of-the-art building vibration sensors in Chandigarh which, it claimed, provides real time check of the correctness of the graphs.

The technology called ‘Tool for Comprehensive Seismic Risk Assessment of Buildings (CSRAB)’ has been developed by Professor Ramancharla Pradeep Kumar, head of the Earthquake Engineering Research Centre at IIIT and his research team.

According to Kumar, this new damage assessment method can clearly say by looking at a prototype score card what kind of damage a building can undergo in future earthquakes.

The score card is called the Rapid Visual score of the building.

In this, the damage can be categorised under five categories – no damage, slight damage, moderate damage, severe damage, and collapse.

He said risk assessment has three components – hazard, exposure, and vulnerability.

Hazard is the level of ground shaking expected at any location, exposure is number of people exposed to such a hazard and vulnerability is current strength of buildings. “Hazard may not be under anyone’s control, exposure is in hands of government policies and vulnerability is in individual/engineer’s hands,” he remarked.

More than 60 per cent of the land area in India is earthquake prone with 12 per cent of area coming under zone 5 which is severe most zone, 18 per cent coming under zone 4, 26 per cent under zone 3 and 44 per cent area under zone 2-the least zone (least zone does not mean that no earthquake will occur), Kumar said.

It is imperative for India to develop strategies to predict risk assessment of buildings as 82 per cent of the population is living in 52 per cent of the land areas.

Kumar stressed that fifty years ago earthquakes in India or say Tokyo or California would have caused similar damage.

However, today the damage in India would be way above California or Tokyo for a similar level of ground shaking or the similar magnitude on Richter scale because of poor construction quality in India, he said.


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