Indian Sub-Continent is Amongst the Most Earthquake Prone Areas in The World

Indian Sub-Continent is Amongst the Most Earthquake Prone Areas in The World 
The Indian sub-continent is amongst the most earthquake prone areas in the world. Earthquakes occur along the “Alpine-Himalayan belt”, which also runs through the Andaman Sumatra arc, Indo-Burmese arc, and Himalayan arc. The continued collision/ subduction of Indian plate with the Eurasian and Sunda plates cause these earthquakes. A few earthquakes also occur within the peninsular shield region of India, which are grouped under intra-plate category and occur due to internal deformation of the plate. 

The Earth System Science Organization (ESSO) -India Meteorological Department (IMD) is responsible for monitoring, detection and forecasting of weather and climate extremes including severe weather events such as cyclones, heavy rainfall, extreme temperature etc. Such forecasts are issued at national, regional and state levels. In order to provide early warning of severe weather events, ESSO-IMD has setup a network of state meteorological centres to have better coordination with a state and district level agencies.

ESSO-National Center for Seismology (NCS) is monitoring earthquake activity in and around the county round the clock through its national seismological network along with other global/regional seismicity monitoring networks.

The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) has all necessary infrastructure and capabilities to give tsunami advisories to India as well as to Indian Ocean countries. ITEWS has been designated as one of the Regional Tsunami Service Providers for the entire Indian Ocean Region by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO on 12 October 2011. Since then, ITEWC is providing tsunami warnings and related services to all countries in the Indian Ocean Rim (24 Countries) beyond fully serving the India’s coastline / Islands.

The centre is capable of detecting tsunamigenic earthquakes occurring in the Indian Ocean as well as in the Global Oceans within 10 minutes of their occurrence and disseminates the advisories to the concerned authorities within 20 minutes through email, fax, SMS, GTS and website.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published several guidelines and building codes for construction of earthquake resistant structures and for retrofitting of existing buildings. These guidelines are in wide circulation amongst the public and the administrative authorities responsible for the design and construction of earthquake resistant structures in earthquake prone areas.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Earth Sciences and other state Disaster Management Authorities, have also taken up various initiatives to educate and enhance awareness amongst general public and school children on the general aspects of earthquakes, their impacts and measures to mitigate losses caused by them. A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is also functional under the general superintendence, direction and control of the NDMA for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters.

Markets, schools, hospitals and Railway and Bus stations, airports etc. are regularly sensitized by organizing mock drills and information dissemination relating to evacuation and steps to be taken during rescue and relief operations.

In addition satellite based, Cyclone Warning Dissemination System (CWDS) comprising 222 CWDSs have been installed in Andhra Pradesh (134), Odisha (44), Tamilnadu (42) and Pondicherry (02).

This information was given by the Minister of State for Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry OF Earth Sciences Shri Y. S. Chowdary in a written reply in Lok Sabha today. 

Consortium Agreement for Core Partnership on Unified Model Earth System Modelling for Seamless Prediction of Weather and Climate 
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the signing of the Consortium Agreement by the Earth System Science Organization-Ministry of Earth Sciences (ESSO-MoES) with the U. K. Met Office (UKMO), Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) and the Commonwealth of Australia through its Bureau of Meteorology and the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial and Research Organisation (CSIRO) for a coordinated effort in the development of a state-of-art Unified Model (UM) Earth System Model for the seamless prediction of weather and climate from days to season.

MoES will make an annual member contribution of £100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) to the Unified Model Consortium.  Indian scientific and academic community will benefit from this MoU as it is an enabling mechanism to jointly work on scientific challenges in the field of earth system modelling and weather and climate prediction.

The MoU will allow the exchange of scientific resources as well as knowledge to support the improvement and development of earth system modelling for weather and climate prediction over Indian monsoon region in particular.

The MOU is likely to be signed in January 2016 enabling India to become the fourth core UM partner through ESSO-NCMRWF and contribute to the UM technical and scientific development.  Under the agreement, core partners will work under a common governance structure, decide on strategy for planning, designing of joint development programs with prioritized tasks and mobilization of resources.

The details of the MoU are:

·        ESSO-MoES provides weather and climate forecasts in various spatial and temporal scales. In order to enhance its capability for improved forecast having larger societal relevance, research and development in frontier areas like monsoon understanding and prediction, water cycle and climate change and in view of the complexities involved in the above fields, ESSO-MoES regularly engages with various international organizations for collaborative research activities which are mutually beneficial.

·        The Unified Model consortium which comprises of the UKMO, KMA and CSIRO have common interests in meteorology and related sciences and recognize mutual interests and growing complexities in the field of Earth System Modelling for weather and climate prediction. The consortium enables exchange of scientific resources, expertise, know-how and technical knowledge on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefits. The consortium also ensures better international orchestration of resources in the collaborative development of the Unified Model (UM) for weather and climate prediction.


The UM is based on the emerging paradigm of seamless prediction of weather and climate. National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting under Ministry of Earth Sciences (ESSO-NCMRWF) is focusing on the development of the seamless UM system for predicting/simulating monsoon from days to season under the National Monsoon Mission programme of ESSO-MoES.  Although UKMO and ESSO-MoES have been working jointly on the UM modelling system since 2008, but to have a more robust collaborative partnership through joint developmental programs among all the international partners of the UM System, India through consortium agreement proposed to become the fourth core UM partner through ESSO-NCMRWF.

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