A release of the Ministry of Earth Sciences said that scientists, geophysicists and seismologists of India and 26 other countries are working under India's leadership on an ambitious project to develop early warning system for earthquakes to predict them some seconds before they occur.
Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Dr.Shailesh Nayak, said at a summit on 'Combating Earthquake Disasters' in Kolkata last evening that if the effort is successful and the model is developed, human casualties could be reduced substantially from such natural calamities.
He said, before earthquakes, some chemical changes under the earth's surface and some physical displacements on the surface occur. He expressed the hope that if parameters are developed to observe, study and analyze these changes, the quakes can be predicted. For this purpose, he said, India is going to launch a satellite by 2019, which will send images of surface displacement up to the accuracy of few centimeters.
Dr. Nayak added that in the coming years deep bore wells filled with sensors and other equipment will be put in place in all seismically active regions in the country to sense the chemical and physical changes under the earth's surface. It was told in the summit that 22 states in India are prone to earthquakes of various intensities like severe, high, moderate and low and urban explosion and densely populated cities with high rise buildings makes the quake scenario worse.
During last one decade, 11 earthquakes of magnitude five (5) or above on Richter scale have shaken India, the summit was informed. Summit speakers called for a strict adherence to and implementation of building structure codes as in Japan to make them quake resistant.