Seismic Zones in India

Earthquake – prone areas of the country have been identified on the basis of scientific inputs relating to seismicity, earthquakes occurred in the past and tectonic setup of the region.

Based on these inputs, Bureau of Indian Standards [IS 1893 (Part I):2002], has grouped the country into four seismic zones, viz. Zone II, III, IV and V.

Of these, Zone V is seismically the most active region, while zone II is the least.

Broadly, Zone – V comprises entire northeastern India, parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, part of North Bihar and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Zone – IV covers remaining parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, Sikkim, Northern Parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, parts of Gujarat and small portions of Maharashtra near the west coast and Rajasthan.

Zone – III comprises Kerala, Goa, Lakshadweep islands, remaining parts of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal, Parts of Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka.

Zone – II covers remaining parts of country.

A list of important cities falling in various seismic zones, has also been prepared by BIS and is given below:-

Town State/UT Zone Town State/UT Zone
Agra Utter Pradesh III Chitradurga Karnataka II
Ahmedabad Gujarat III Coimbatore Tamil nadu III
Ajmer Rajasthan II Cuddalore Tamil Nadu III
Allahabad Utter Pradesh II Cuttack Orissa III
Almora Uttrakhand IV Darbhanga Bihar V
Ambala Haryana IV Darjeeling West Bengal IV
Amritsar Punjab IV Dharwad Karnataka III
Asansol West Bengal III Dehradun Uttrakhand IV
Aurangabad Maharastha II Dharmpuri Tamil Nadu III
Baharich Utter Pradesh IV Delhi Delhi IV
Bangalore Karnataka II Durgapur West Bengal III
Barauni Bihar IV Gangtok Sikkim IV
Bareilly Utter Pradesh III Guwahati Assam V
Belgaum Karnataka III Goa Goa III
Bhatinda Punjab III Gulbarga Karnataka II
Bhilai Chattiagarh II Gaya Bihar III
Bhopal Madhya Pradesh II Gorakhpur Utter Pradesh IV
Bhubaneswar Orissa III Hyderabad Andhra Pradesh II
Bhuj Gujarat V Imphal Manipur V
Bijapur Karnataka III Jabalpur Madhya Pradesh III
Bikaner Rajasthan III Jaipur Rajasthan II
Bokaro Jharkhand III Jamshedpur Jharkhand II
Bulandshahr Utter Pradesh IV Jhansi Utter Pradesh II
Burdwan West Bengal III Jodhpur Rajasthan II
Cailcut Kerala III Jorhat Assam V
Chandigarh Chandigarh IV Kakrapara Gujarat III
Chennai Tamil Nadu III Kalapakkam Tamil Nadu III
Kanchipuram Tamil Nadu III Pondicherry Pondicherry II
Kanpur Utter Pradesh III Pune Maharastha III
Karwar Karnataka III Raipur Chattisgarh II
Kohima Nagaland V Rajkot Gujarat III
Kolkata West Bengal III Ranchi Chattisgarh II
Kota Rajasthan II Roorkee Uttrakhand IV
Kurnool Andhra Pradesh II Rourkela Orissa II
Lucknow Utter Pradesh III Sadiya Assam V
Ludhiyana Punjab IV Salem Tamil Nadu III
Madurai Tamil Nadu II Simla Himanchal Pradesh IV
Mandi Himanchal Pradesh V Sironj Madhya Pradesh II
Mangalore Karnataka III Solapur Maharastha III
Monghyr Bihar IV Srinagar Jammu & Kashmir V
Moradabad Utter Pradesh IV Surat Gujarat III
Mumbai Maharastha III Tarapur Maharastha III
Mysore Karnataka II Tezpur Assam V
Nagpur Maharastha II Thane Maharastha III
Nagarjunasagar Andhra Pradesh II Thanjavur Tamil Nadu II
Nainital Uttrakhand IV Thiruvananthapuram Kerala III
Nasik Maharastha III Tiruchirappali Tamil Nadu II
Nellore Andhra Pradesh III Tiruvennamalai Tamil Nadu III
Osmanabad Maharastha III Udaipur Rajasthan II
Panjim Goa III Vadodara Gujarat III
Patiala Punjab III Varanasi Utter Pradesh III
Patna Bihar IV Vellore Andhra Pradesh III
Pilibhit Uttrakhand IV Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh III
      Vishakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh II

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published criterion for construction of earthquake resistant structures. Buildings are now being made earthquake resistant.

BIS has prepared guidelines for retrofitting in existing structures. A list of code books on construction practices of buildings and structures, to minimize the earthquake losses, is available.

In addition to this, Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) & Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) have also published guidelines and brochures for construction and retrofitting of 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.

Loss of life and damage of property due to earthquakes could be considerably reduced through proper planning and implementation of pre- and post-disaster preparedness and management strategies by respective State and Central Government agencies in a coordinated manner following the above mentioned guidelines.

These studies involving preparation of geological, geomorphologic and land use maps followed by drilling, geological logging, standard penetration test and geophysical studies to demarcate the zones of least to most damage prone areas within the urban areas so as to helps the respective town and country planning agencies to formulate perspective planning within the overall earthquake impact minimization efforts.

Based on the above steps it is mandatory for all infrastructure/building/ development agencies (Public and Private) to design appropriate earthquake resistant building plans based on the relevant BIS Codes and other guidelines of BMTPC, HUDCO and NDMA for across the country.

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.