With Himachal Pradesh falling under one of the most seismically active regions in the world, the state government would soon establish an early earthquake warning system to alert masses in case of any exigency.

The decision to develop Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) System in Himachal Pradesh was taken in a meeting held under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management Onkar Chand Sharma on Saturday.

The system would be installed by IIT Roorkee which had already set up such a warning system in Uttarakhand.

Informing about the decision, Sharma said seismic hazard is very high as the maximum area of the state lies in the Himalayas which is one of the most seismically active regions in the world.

A developed Earthquake Early Warning System could be an effort in the direction to mitigate the seismic hazards in the state.

In this regard, IIT Roorkee had sent a proposal to the state government to establish Earthquake Early Warning System.

IIT Roorkee has already installed such Earthquake Early Earning System in Uttarakhand with the help of state government which is running very effectively by generating database of earthquake events, generating public awareness and detailed research on seismic activities, he said.

Sharma said according to IIT Roorkee’s proposal, Himachal may put earthquake sensors in different parts of the state which will detect earthquake activities in real-time.

The warning may be communicated to the general public by a network of sirens.

If the earthquake has its epicentre in Kangra or Mandi regions, the people in the state capital, Shimla may get lead time to take action say by 30 to 35 seconds.

Similarly, the expected lead time to the major cities if 1905 Kangra earthquake repeats in the region would be, Solan 42 seconds, Mandi 20 seconds, Dalhousie 8 seconds, Dehradun 77 seconds, Chandigarh 43 seconds, Ludhiana 37 seconds, Amritsar 38 seconds, Panipat 93 seconds and Delhi 123 seconds.

Sharma said timely action may save many lives if there is an earthquake in the state in future and such an early warning system is in place and institutionalized.

Such EEWS will also help to generate a database of earthquakes in the state and generating mass awareness on earthquake safety.

Sharma said the government may consider and more discussion will be held to take up this proposal to minimize the expected loss and damage due to impending earthquakes in the state of high magnitude in future by creating a culture of safety, improving the mock exercises familiarities and awareness for earthquake safety in general public.

Associate Professor IIT Roorkee Dr Kamal, Dean-School of Earth and Environment Sciences Central University Himachal Pradesh, Kangra Prof AK Mahajan, Director IMD Shimla, Manmohan Singh among others were present in the meeting.