Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh CM designate N. Chandrababu Naidu is said to be keen on developing the Vijayawada belt as his capital zone. But it might not be a good idea as Vijayawada is a seismic zone with the highest risk in the state and, if he persists, it could prove to be quite expensive.
A Geological Survey of India (GSI) report on the seismicity of Vijayawada points out that there are four major sources of quakes within a 150 km radius of Vijayawada city. Geologists suggest that earthquake resistant structures must be built in the agglomeration to tackle quakes.
The Earthquake Geology Division of the GSI had commissioned a seismicity micronization study on the Vijayawada urban agglomeration.
There had been about 159 earthquakes in the Vijayawada region till the 2009-end. The report also said that quakes are likely to occur in four identified areas within a 150 km radius and buildings should be carefully built in these regions.
Safety norms are in most cases thrown to the winds in our state but the GSI has said strict building safety guidelines must be followed in high and low susceptibility regions. It has also advised against high rise buildings in the regions vulnerable to earthquakes. Vijayawada is also the only city falling under Seismicity Zone III, while all others fall under Zone II.
Adherence to safety guidelines and implementing earthquake resistant designs and materials, however, could push up prices. “We have only suggested which areas are susceptible to damage and loss of life in case of an earthquake,” a geologist from the GSI said, unwilling to be named. “To be safe advanced construction techniques with deeper foundations and resistant structures are necessary. Obviously costs would go up.”
GSI’s hazard maps shows the liquefaction potential of areas in and around the Vijayawada agglomeration. Liquefaction is the loss of strength of soil, when a quake strikes, leading to massive building crashes. Several areas to the south of the Krishna River near Mangalgiri, and east towards Poranki have been classified as hazardous. Almost the whole urban agglomeration has been classified as dangerous for high rises.