As many as 31 new seismological observatories will be set up in the country by the year end to boost information gathering capability on earthquakes.

The observatories generate ground motion data recorded by the digital seismography used for estimation of data and other earthquake parameters.

The National Centre of Seismology (NCS), a unit of the Ministry of Earth Science, will install five observatories in Uttar Pradesh, four each in Bihar and Haryana, three each in Himachal Pradesh and Delhi, two each in Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and one each in Uttarkhand, Jharkhand, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Lakshadweep.

The NSC maintains a National Seismological Network (NSW) comprising 84 seismological laboratories across the country.

After occurrence of earthquake, these observatories record the seismological activities, pass them on to the control room, which generates relevant data on the occurrence of a quake.

This crucial piece of information comprising time, magnitude, depth and location of quake, is passed on to the Prime Minister's Office, the Cabinet Secretariat, ministries and state governments concerned and all the district collectors in the country.

The information is also useful in taking swift action in case of a major quake.

“More observatories give precise readings in terms of location and timings. We plan to take the total number of seismological observatories to 116 by the end of the year.

“With this, we intend to reduce the time taken to give details of an earthquake from 5 to 3-4 minutes.

“The future plan is to increase the observatories to 150 by next year,” M Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, said.