Wednesday 27 May 2015



This discussion is on the wake of a massive earthquake on April 25,that hit Nepal and North Bihar with its tremor felt on a much larger portion comprising part of China, Tibet, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. The earthquake measured 7.8 on Richter scale. The focus of earthquake was at a depth of 15 KM from its epicenter at Barpak village in the Gorkha District of Nepal at 11:41 A. M. This shock was, later on, followed by a trail of aftershocks.

On May 12, an another earthquake of magnitude 7.3 at a focal depth of 15 K.M. with the epicenter 18 K.M. south east of Kodari in Dolakha District around 80 K.M. east of Kathmandu and some 50 to 60 K.M. south west of Mount Everest shook the earth at 12:37 P.M. Another 13 aftershocks were felt on the same day of magnitude 4.3, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.6 and 6.3.  This tremor triggered immeasurable tragedy over Nepal and adjoining Bihar.

A brief interaction with the Plate Tectonics of this region will reveal the fact that the Indus – Yarlung Suture Zone lying in the southern border of Nepal collided with the Eurasian Plate some 40 million to 50 million years ago. Today the Indian Sub-Continent lies on the Indus – Yarlung Suture Zone and the Eurasian Plate includes most of Europe and Asia. This collision created the Himalayan Mountain Range.N
When the Indian Plate pushes its way towards Eurasian Plate immense pressure builds up at the point where two land masses meet.  Consequently, one land mass slides above the other giving rise to a shock wave what we call an Earthquake. The point of contact within the earth from where the Seismic waves originate is called hypocenter or focus of the earthquake. An epicenter of the earthquake is the point on earth surface just above the hypocenter / focus. Focal depth is the vertical distance between the hypocenter and epicenter. The magnitude of Earthquake on Richter scale expresses the strength of the earth quake. The earthquakes are categorized as Micro Earthquake less than magnitude 2, Slight less than 5, Moderate between 5 and 6.9 and Great more than 7.0.

In the instant case, what is noteworthy is that the Great earthquake has triggered the aftershocks which are mostly of moderate nature and reflects a vigorous shaking nature of the earth tectonic plate floating on the magma. The Indian tectonic plate is reportedly moving at the rate of 5.0 cm per year northwards in the Central Asia. Nepal stands on solid bed rock. Remnants of a prehistoric lake, a 3,000 m deep layer of black clay lies underneath the Kathmandu valley. In plains of Bihar from bordering Nepal in the north towards the Ganges in the South the soil profile transits from surface sand / silts to clayey soil and black cotton soil.
The earthquake in Himalayan region of Bihar and Nepal are the dramatic manifestation of the ongoing convergence between the Indo Australian and Eurasian tectonic plate. This convergence built up a strain in the earth crust which gives way through the old fault line in the form of rupture. Reports have arrived that the ruptured part of fault line extended 130 K.M. East and 60 K.M. South in one minute with as much as 3.00 m sleep. A broad swath of ground near Kathmandu is reportedly lifted vertically by about 1.0 m.

Mount Everest is reported to have got a wee bit shorter i.e. by 2.5 cm. The interferrogram images have revealed the vertical shift of 2.8 cm. This shift has been marked over an 80-100 K.M. stretch of the Langtang Himal(north west of the capital of Kathmandu). It is also suspected that handful of other Himalayan peaks even westward may also have undergone the drop. Everest is east to the main shaking zone. North of capital Kathmandu, at some places, had subsided by 1.5 m. Satellite images show that overall area of mountain range has dropped by 0.75 m to 1.5 m while the area to the south of the Himalayan Mountain has uplifted. It is, therefore, apparent that drop or uplift is the normal Geological behavior during an earthquake of this scale.  Still, on the whole, the Himalayas continue to grow to stupendous heights. Studies show that some part of Himalayas is rising @ 1.0 cm/year due to ongoing collision between Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates.

The new data from satellite also confirm that the fault involved in the earthquake ruptured eastward out from the earthquake epicenter. Consequently,  the damage also appears to have travelled eastward along the line of rupture in the near vicinity. Interestingly, the shock had travelled eastward in 1255 earthquake, the rupture in western fault was witnessed in 1344 earthquake and again in 1934, it travelled eastward which has now been repeated in 2015. It therefore appears, in all probability, that the sheer strength of the fault line is either weaker eastward or the tectonic plates are colliding in a way as to transmit the maximum energy eastward. The primary waves travelled at 10 degree at focal depth. The damaged area was around 14,000 sq Km. The fault did not break all the way up to earth surface which may mean that some strain which built up prior to earthquake still needs to be released. The fault has been releasing and would further release this energy with more earthquakes or by slowly shifting without triggering major temblors – a phenomenon called “Creep”. It is possible that a subsequent quake may be bigger than the original. In that case, the latter quake is termed “Main Shock” and earlier event becomes a “Fore Shock”. It is therefore required that the effect of stress on all existing faults need to be studied.

Against the backdrop of the above information, let us have a quick view of the existing fault line of Himalayan region of Nepal and North Bihar. The State of Bihar lies in the Gangetic plain. This is a fore-deep, a down warp i.e. the broad depression of earth surface of the Himalayan foreland, of variable depth, converted into flat plains by long vigorous sedimentation. This is known as a Geo syncline and the Gangetic plain is the Indo Gangetic Geosyncline. This has shown considerable amounts of flexure and dislocation at the northern end and is bounded on the north by the Himalayan Frontal Thrust. The floor of the Gangetic trough (if see without all the sediments) is not an even plain, but shows corrugated inequalities and buried ridges (shelf faults). Western Bihar sits on the sub-surface Faizabad ridge while the eastern sections sit on the Munger-Saharsa Ridge. The areas near the border with West Bengal lie on the Kosi Graben (Purnea-Kishanganj Graben). The central sections of Bihar lie atop the Gandak depression and East Uttar Pradesh shelf.
The Himalayan Frontal Thrust does not run in Bihar, though, it runs across the border in Nepal. Several faults have been identified in the region and some have shown evidence of movement during the Holocene epoch. The West Patna Fault runs in a NE-SW direction from near Arrah in the south to the Nepalese border near Madhubani in the North. Running almost parallel to it is the East Patna Fault which extends from the south-east of Patna in the south to the Nepalese border to the east of Madhubani. Another fault, this one also lying parallel to the previous two, is the Munger-Saharsa Ridge Fault which runs from Biharsharif to near Morang in eastern Nepal. Apart from these, there are east-west running tear faults in the region that control the courses of the main rivers. However, it must be stated that proximity to faults does not necessarily translate into a higher hazard as compared to areas located further away, as damage from earthquakes depends on numerous factors such as subsurface geology as well as adherence to the building codes.
The seismic hazard map of India was updated in 2000 by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
There are no major changes in the zones in Bihar. Districts such as Araria, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Sitamarhi and Supaul lie in Zone V. The south-western districts of Aurangabad, Bhojpur, Buxar, Gaya, Jahanabad, Kaimur, Nawada and Rohtas lie in Zone III. The remaining districts of Bihar, including the capital city of Patna lie in Zone IV. Since the earth quake database in India is still incomplete, especially with regards to earthquakes prior to the historical period (before 1800 A.D.), these zones offer a rough guide of the earthquake hazard in any particular region and need to be regularly updated.

Now let us re-examine the fault pattern of Bihar. 
On the basis of the gravity data, seismic surveys and deep drilling data from the gangetic fore-deep some basements faults have been demarcated. These investigations clearly bring out two types of basement faults. They are present below the fore-deep alluvium cover. One set of faults orient sub parallel to the Himalayan trend and the other is transverse to it. In the north Bihar region, the important faults are West and East Patna faults in the East Ganga Basin and the Monghyr Sasharsa Ridge with its bounding faults i.e. one passing through Rajgir and Barauni towards the NE and the other from east of Bhagalpur towards N/NW. These faults are known as transverse faults, as the trend of these faults is transverse to the trend of Himalayan faults. These transverse faults were formed during a rifting phase immediately before or contemporaneous with Permo Carboniferous Gondwana sedimentation. These transverse faults in the Himalayan region vary in direction forms NW to NE direction and form a set of conjugate faults. It has been interpreted that the northward movement of Indian plate is causing the activation of these subsurface transverse fault and added that a substantial part of convergence of Indian plate is accommodated by strike-slip motion across the Himalaya, in addition to normal faulting in certain areas.

Another set of E-W trending faults has been recorded only in the western part of the gangetic plain. There is a possibility of occurrence of roughly E-W trending sub surface fault in the eastern gangetic plain below the gangetic fore-deep close to the mountain front. Reactivation of these faults is possible in response to the Himalayan Tectonics. These faults are perhaps the oldest and originated during the Precambrian (mid Proterozyc) period as possible passive margin normal faults.

Besides these sub surface faults, some surface faults have also been reported from the alluvial area of North Bihar plains. The surface faults in and around Gandak Mega fan include Rohini fault, Gandak fault, Rapti fault and Ghaghra Ganga fault. The Gandak river is following the Gandak fault which is trending NW-SE. It has also been inferred that the flood basin area in between the Burhi Gandak river and Koshi river is tectonically active and rapidily subsiding.  In Koshi fan and the adjoining area, two large scale thrust trending in the NE-SW direction and NW-SE direction have been identified. In general the North Bihar plains provide an opportunity to study the fluvial geomorphology in a subsiding basin.

Occurrence of earthquake indicates the tectonic instability in the area and suggests that the faults are presently active.
Now let us come to the rivers emanating mostly from Nepal and making their way through North Bihar. The courses of rivers and watersheds are the creation of nature which follow the pattern of topography, geography, geology and ecology of the region. The course is along the natural slope which is again a creation of nature in keeping with the contours. The topography and ecology, in all probabilities, run together until and unless there is an external interference whether humane or even natural. We cannot imagine any part of this universe behaving in isolation. The whole universe behaves as a single entity and even the ‘crime-punishment- mechanism’ of the nature is not an exception to that. That is the environmental crime in one region may inflict punishment on another region.
If one superimposes the courses of the major rivers of the North Bihar upon the under lying fault pattern as discussed above, we find that the most rivers are traversing and crossing through the various intersection of fault lines. It is therefore, high time one under took an urgent study of the diurnal and seasonal variation of these fault lines on the wake of the frequent tremors being transmitted through them every now and then. While shaking of earth due to collision along one fault line, the intersecting fault lines along with the more others in the near vicinity are bound to be jerked and share the transmitted energy because such lines are the most vulnerable locations.
And much more important becomes the effect of changes in such fault lines on the nature of river course and watersheds. The studies of such phenomena assume more significance in view of the fact that these regions of Zone V and also the neighboring Zone IV in North Bihar are the most populated part of the country in quantum and density both.
What one fears is the probability that these faults in distant future may give rise to separation and fissuring of individual independent plates floating with independent degree of freedom and converting the region into a ‘floating boat model’ where each boat of varying size collides against one another with its characteristic degree of freedom.
Second fear that creeps into the mind is of the phenomenon of liquefaction. Especially during the earthquake when the earth shakes vigorously, the water table rises and the capillary action increases the pore pressure in the alluvial soil. The moment the pore pressure equals or exceeds the over burden weight of the land mass, the latter gets bereft of its sheer strength and behaves as a liquid. In such eventualities, the land mass behaves as a floating liquid and bearing pressure of soil is no more. As a result, the structure subsides. The effects get compounded if such shaking takes place during the flood time.
Floods! – The destiny of North Bihar has already a tryst with the flood. Eight major rivers namely Gandak, Burhi Gandak, Bagmati, Kamala,Bhutahi Balan, Koshi, Mahananda and Adhwara group of rivers sweep through 5.4 million hectare land of North Bihar and carry flood to a vast area of 76% of the total land which accounts for the 17%of the total flood affected area of the country. 57% of the flood affected people of the country are from this region alone.

Origin Place
Latitude/ Longitude
Entry to Bihar
Total Drainage Area
Drainage in Bihar
Cropped area in Bihar
Its Tributary
North of Dhaulagiri in  Tibet of Himalaya
7620 above MSL
29⁰18’ N/ 83⁰58’ E
West Champaran, East Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Goplaganj, Siwan, Saran, Vaishali and confluence with Ganga at Hazipur
40553 SqKM
4188 SqKM
2510 SqKM
Bhabsa(L), Harha(L), Kakra(R)
Burhi Gandak
Chautarwa chaur near Bisambharpur in district W. Champaran

East Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Samstipur, Begusari and meet Ganga near Khagaria
12021 SqKM
9601 SqKM
7600 SqKM
Masan(L), Balor(L), Pandai(L), Sikta(L), Tilawe(L), Tiur(L), Dhanauti(R), Kohra(R), Danda(R)
Shivpuri range of hill in Nepal
1500 above MSL
27⁰47’ N / 85⁰17’ E
Shorwatia in Sitamarhi and meet Koshi at Badlaghat
589 SqKM
394 SqKM

Adhwari  Group
Foothills of Nepal

70% discharge passes through the Khiroi, 30% meet river Dhaus near Karharaghat and crosses North of Kamtaul Railway Station and finally falls into the Darbhanga-Bagmati at Ekmighat
14384 SqKM
6500 SqKM
5362 SqKM
Lalbakeya(R), Lakhandei(L), Darbhanga-Bagmati(L), Old kamla(L), Hasanpur Bagmati(R)
Kamla Balan
Mahabharat range of hill in Nepal near Sindhuliagarhi
1200 m
27⁰15’N / 85⁰57’ E
Madhubani and join the river Kareh (Bagmati) at Badlaghat
7232 SqKM
4488 SqKM
2744 SqKM
Mainawati(L), Dhauri(L), Soni(L), Balan(L), Trisula(L).
7000 m above MSL

Hanumannagar in Nepal and joins Ganga river near Kursela in Katihar.
Out of 74030 SqKm catchment area, only 11410 SqKm lies in India

74030 SqKM
11410 SqKM
8694 SqKM
Bagmati(R), Kamla Balan(R), Bhuthi Balan(R), Trijuga(R), Fariani dhar(L), Dhemama dhar(L)
Himalaya Paglajhora falls on Mahaldiram hill near Chimli East of Kurseong in Darjelling Dist.
2100 m above MSL

Mechi River (R) for Nepal Eastern boundary with W. Bengal Konkai
Ganga Stem
River meet Ganga directly such as River Karmnasha near Chausa, river Kao-Thora near Bukar, river Dharmawati and Gangi between Buxar and Ara and river Gerua near Ghogha (Bhagalpur) from right side and river Mahi near Sonepur and river Baya near Bachhwara from left side in Bihar known as Ganga stem Basin.

The menace of flood becomes more fatal in keeping with the fact that 86% of the population in this area lives on agriculture. The recent quake may also be an indication of the fact that the future of North Bihar region may get washed in the huge deluge. Firstly, the glacial slides in the Himalayas and their consequent melting during recent earthquake will add to the water mass of rivers leading to North Bihar.
Secondly, the landslides will add slit load to the river bed increasing the radius and reducing the curvature of the river. The flatter the bed, lesser is the critical velocity of flow and sooner the stream line flow of the river turns into the turbulent flow. The water starts spreading chaotically along and across the bank what one calls flood which create the new courses on the cost of existing terrain.

Thirdly, the satellite pictures have shown that there have been huge upheavals in the levels of the ground   during earthquake. A new set of contour lines in the region has emerged and this is bound to have an impact on the river course.

Fourthly’ one cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that during 1934 earthquake, the major damage in North Bihar was due to extensive slumping, tilting, fissuring and sinking of the ground and much of the damage was due primarily to slumping. “Not a house of any weight within this area escaped tilting and sinking and few were inhabitable”.

 Fortunately, in the recent earthquake of 2015, the North Bihar structures had not to face such distortions. I made a survey of the buildings of Doordarshan Kendra Muzaffarpur, All India Radio studio and transmitter at Darbhanga and Town Hall building of Madhubani where Low Power TV transmitter is housed. Only wall cracks in the partition walls and structural cracks in the cantilever portion of portico at certain places were found to the extent that having undergone minor and immediate repairs the buildings were comfortably safe.It was only at Madhubani that transmitter antenna had fallen down from the tower top. Also, in the town hall building, at the front façade the unsupported facial wall made of brick on the top of the roof had cracked too wide to withstand the future jerk of moderate magnitude and demanded immediate repair. It also appeared non technical, irrational and unwanted to go for such kind of architectural feature with the constructed structural attribute in such seismic zone V. Overall, the framed RCC structures were very much safe.
In 1934 quake, sand and water vents appeared throughout the central vents of the earthquake area. Extensive liquefaction of the ground took place over a length of 300 K.M. called the SLUMPED BELT. In recent earthquake of 2015, the sinking of a bath platform and a tree was witnessed at the bank of a pond near the Tower Chowk at Darbhanga. The edges of the pond were also seen slumped up to a certain width.

In Muzaffarpur, sand fissures had erupted at several places in town in 1934. The wells were choked with sand, while water levels in tanks became shallower due to sand deposited in the tank beds. A similar phenomenon may not be ruled out on the river beds where the rivers get shallower by the erupting sand. Though opinion emerges that slumping, fissuring and tilting of the ground is a superficial phenomenon but I disagree. I strongly feel that studies be undertaken to examine whether such phenomenon was not a prototype of the volcanic eruptions of sand / water due to sub surface disturbance of the earth during shaking, slippage of faults and outburst of energy with vertical impact. The orientation of such fissures, though, rarely showed any constancy in direction and a tendency for east-west direction but such hurrying to any conclusion will be tantamount of ignoring the behavior of other faults of the region during shaking.

The Burhi Gandak and Gandak rivers have remained the abode of crocodiles and alligators for the centuries. Similarly the Ganges from Its confluence with Gandak near Patna to Bhagalpur has remained as a Dolphin park. The effect of the earth quake on this precious habitat is most importantly required to be studied and examined in detail.
The impact of such changes in the river pattern may lead to water logging, a vexing problem that North Bihar is very prone to. Due to excessive water logging 15% of agricultural land has been rendered useless affecting the livelihood of 6.0 million people of the region. The forest area of North Bihar is mostly closer to terai region of Indo Nepal Border at the sub Himalayan foothill of Someshwar and Dun ranges in Champaran District. This is a belt of moist deciduous forest. These also consist of shrub, grass and reeds. Here the rain fall is above 1600 mm and thus promotes luxuriant Sal forest in the favoured areas. The hot and dry summer gives the deciduous forest. The most important trees are Sal, Sesum, Khair, Cedrela and Semal. This type of forests also occurs in Saharsa district and Purnia district. The spread of water in the Jungle area, water logging and the disturbances created by earth movement is bound to affect the flora and fauna of the region. The reports have arrived that some wild cats with their cubs have shifted downward to the safer and dry plain region.

This region is also marked with the presence of a tribal habitat called the Tharu tribe. The protection and preservation of such tribes on the wake of menace of the earthquake is also one of the most important obligation and national responsibility.
In the recent earthquake, a particular kind of sound emanating from the vibration of the earth has been audible even post quake and continuously for many days at the Bagahi Nimiya tola of Bagahi Ratanpur panchayat near Bariya in the West Champaran disctrict. At Jadua Barai tola near Hazipur the smoke has been reported to emanate from the historical Sun Pond, Hazai Pokhar. Such instances have been reported at two or three more places in the Vaisali district.

 The climate, post quake, at Nepal and Bihar border had been reported comparatively warmer. There is change in wind direction and dark and violet dust is visible at the atmosphere. Such events must be examined by the expert scientist instead of the Administration and Police as is happening in Bihar.
The ground water profile of the North Bihar Zone shows that the iron content is more than 1.0 mg /liter and arsenic content is more than 0.5 mg/liter. Now against the backdrop of the tectonic disturbances the ground water profile needs to be re-examined.
The variation in ground water table has also to be studied. In a recent pre-earthquake survey, it has been reported that some part of North Bihar has recorded a rise of 1 foot in the ground water table as compared to the last year. Now the reason of the same is required to be investigated and also whether or not such phenomenon has occurred in the past. The ground water contamination is another important aspect which draws attention and ground water quality should be investigated in the zone.

Now having got abreast with the problems, let us indulge in the exercise of brainstorming in order to solicit some solutions. The solutions being brainstormed are specific to North Bihar lying in zone V and zone IV.  To start with the rivers, one comes across the huge silt load on the river bed for the reasons as explained in the preceding paragraphs. Due to constant siltation, the rivers in North Bihar appear to have outlived their utility as savior of human civilization which they have been asserting through intermittent floods. The problem gets further aggravated by the fact that they are traversing a course which rests upon a ‘floating boat’. It is therefore high time one paid proper care to them least they should play havoc with North Bihar in the same way as floods did the great Harappa Civilization. Removal of the silt load from river bed by the process of dredging is immediately required. Dredging of the bed should mandatorily be done up to a considerable depth to create open channel of high efficiency. The dredged bed soil should be spread on the banks both ways. The wider and high banks should be taken up for deep forest plantation of the eco-friendly variety. The deep rivers full of water shall also act as a dampener against the shaking of earth. The surge and oscillations of deep river during seismic disturbance shall contribute as restoring force. The deep rivers may also be used for navigation purpose. One can look to the Swez canal model.

Secondly and more importantly, the river embankments are required to be protected with RCC slabs and sheet piles. The protection effort of Sabarmati River at Ahmedabad is a good example to emulate. During all such measures, the due care of water habitat is taken.

However, in general, when one thinks of solution, the measures sought for should be integrated in nature. That is to say that a composite look has to be given while drawing the strategy. And also the measures have to be two fold i.e. preventive as well as curative. I will lay more stress on the preventive measures. It is the philosophy of preventive strategy alone which is translated into the curative implementation at the time of disaster.


Such measures refer to composite planning comprising the fields of ENGINEERING, MEDICAL, RELIEF PROGRAM, PSYCHOLOGICAL, SOCIAL SECURITY, LEGAL and much more as gathered/shared by virtue of experience.


·         A review of seismic zones should be done based on the recent and update studies/findings with regards to the fault lines and the seismic activities within the earth.
·         Strict parameters be laid down in respect of a planned urbanization of the towns/cities lying by the river side.
·         Such laid down parameters should be strictly adhered to without fail because the performance of the administration has remained too bad on this score.
·         Provision of National Building Code must be strictly reinforced.
·         People should be educated about constructing the earthquake resistant structures. This awareness drive should be taken on a war footing much akin to pulse polio drive. The Government along with other agencies should play a proactive role.
·         From disaster management angle, following buildings must be accorded importance factor 1 while designing and constructing in order that they should be able to withstand the most severe jerk and stand safe at the time of crises –
        Community Centers
        Studio/ transmitter of Akashvani and Doordarshan Kendra
        Microwave towers and buildings for telecommunication
They are the structures which play the very vital role post earthquake.
·         Each subdivision head quarter must have at least one big community center fully earth quake resistant to function as relief cente at the golden hour.
·         The communication system must be kept on alert.
·         Seismometer must be installed in the vulnerable fault zones and constant monitoring and analysis of data be done.
·         A special task force of engineers should be constituted and be kept ready to undertake the repair works immediately after it is technically imperative to do. This shoud not be left to the lethargy of the bureaucratic system.
·         The system of HAM RADIO , AIR/TV,BSNL and others should form the part of the special task force.

Case study: In Madhubani town hall building, it has been found that cracks require immediate repair in the walls and portico in general and the façade unsupported walls on roof top in particular. Such repair could have been taken up immediately even without vacating the building. But the bureaucratic way had it that one occupant department wrote to the district administration regarding the cracks and the district administration has, instead of taking up the repair works, written on 09.05.2015 to all other occupant departments to vacate the building without giving any alternative accommodation. One of the occupants, the Doordarshan Relay Centre, on 14.05.2015 requested me to inspect their portion of building and make them apprised of the current situation of building. I inspected the building on 18.05.2015 and submitted the recommendations on 22.05.2015 to take up the repair work without vacating the building. It is feared that if there is inordinate delay in taking up the repair works and meanwhile one another strong tremor visits the damages suffered may be of great magnitude. It is, therefore, strongly felt that such kind of red tapism and lethargy be removed by a suitable mechanism of special task forces in such circumstances.

·         The infrastructure set up for make shift bridges / approaches, Cranes, Concrete Cutter Machine, Earth Movers etc. be kept ready at hand at the disposal of the Disaster Control Centres.

·         A well trained team should be raised up for such purpose where THE REAL WORKER IS THE LEADER OF THE TEAM. The members of team shall be drawn from various disciplines of Engineering such as Structure, Geo technical, Hydraulics and water resources, Public Health Engineering, Electrical etc.

·         Special funds must be earmarked.

·         SOP (Standard of procedure) for emergency implementation of the work should be well defined and be free as far as possible from the typical bureaucratic red tapism. The control must rest with a well trained and experienced technocrat.

·         The structures of Archaeological importance and Monuments shall be identified and listed for keeping a proper surveillance of theirs.


1.   As a matter of fact, it is the medical trauma care unit of Doctors which, first of all, rushes to the rescue of disaster struck people. So a well trained medical team under the medical department should be constituted in advance with defined SOP.
2.   In each subdivision, in Zone V, area a trauma centre rich with the infrastructural support and trained Doctors should be established.
3.   Proper mechanism should be developed that medicine and other medical support items are available or made available at hand.
4.   The team leader must be a trained and experienced medical Doctor.
5.   The team should also draw the members from social service sector, psychiatric social worker and volunteers from Scouts, N.C.C. and N.S.S. cadets.


Some cases of death due to heart failure have been reported. It has also been seen that the victims suffer mental traumatic disorder due to fear and anxiety during earthquakes which prolongs much longer. In Patna, many families spent their nights in Gandhi Maidan and Eco-Garden out of the fear of the earth shake. The children and female are the easy prey to such disorders. So, as the preventive measures, NIDM should coordinate with the specialized institutions like Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Science and their psychiatric social workers and clinical psychologists should educate the people of Zone V by organizing camps to remove such sense of fear psychosis. The local population will also be trained by such professionals how to cope physically and mentally when such eventuality of disaster knocks the door.


1.   A proper relief team, sub-division wise, should be established in advance to see such situations.
2.   There should be proper collection, classification, analysis and assessment of the demographic data of the area in advance, sub-division wise, in Zone V.
3.   The proper planning with S O P shall be spelt out in advance to avoid any confusion at the time of organising relief.
4.   The relief team should be well coordinated and mandatorily draw its members from the local people, Student Community, Social Worker and Volunteers. Local people are the best guide at the time of disaster. Such local populace should be trained in advance to create a special disaster relief task force at Block/ Tehsil level to act and aid at the time of crisis.
5.   There should be proper networking with different NGOs or philanthropic organisation who could share their contribution during such time.
6.   The big community centre with earthquake resistance technique must be constructed at each block headquarter in  Zone V which, in normal days, will be used for social / cultural purpose and at time of disaster they shall be used as relief camp.


When earth shakes, the people out of fear run away from the building and the left behind ones are old / disabled and ill people. Also in accidents, some get disabled, loose livelihood etc. Secondly, some anti-social elements also become active during such period and get indulged in theft, loot and even in human trafficking. In Rampur and Rasulpur village of Muzaffarpur District, 37 persons have been reported missing during earthquake. Terrorism is an another threat. In such circumstances, the disorder of psychological trauma is deadly blended to the deeper sense of social insecurity. It is, therefore, imperative to raise a mechanism and a system of the trained personnel drawing from all walks of life to combat this man made menace which is even deadlier than the earthquake. There are many social security schemes run by Government such as Indira Gandhi Sahayta Yojna for Vikalang, Vidhwa and Bridha. Such schemes may be efficiently and logically linked to the earthquake rehabilitation programme.   People should be educated and made aware of such schemes. Also a specialised team should be raised to look after the social security aspects of the victims.


Sub Clause (e) of the section 12 Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 makes the victims of disaster who are under circumstances of undeserved want as a result of such disaster eligible for free legal services to file or defend a case. But in a disaster of catastrophic nature whether it is natural or manmade, the victims are often taken unaware and are subjected to face the grim situation of loss of life, becoming homeless, destruction of properties or damaged to or degradation of environment and subject to human sufferings and damaged beyond the coping capacity of the community of the affected area.

Even though it is the duty of the Government and the Administration of the Locality to come to the help of the victims of disaster, Legal Services Authorities by virtue of sub clause (e) of Section 12 can play an effective role by coordinating the activities of the State Administration in the disaster management by way of strategic interventions in an integrated and sustainable manner, reducing the gravity of the crisis and to build a platform for early recovery and development. The Legal Services Authorities (LSA) shall endeavour to help the victims and the administration for reducing risk and assisting them to adopt disaster mitigation policy and strategies, reducing the vulnerabilities of the geographical and social situation and strengthening their capacities for managing human made and natural disastrous at all levels.

The Supreme Court has designed a scheme named “Scheme for Legal Services to the Victims of disaster through LSA”. A core group shall be established by the state legal services authorities in all Districts under the control of the District Legal Services Authorities to activate in the event of the disaster, whether manmade or natural. The core group shall consist of a Senior Judicial Officer, young lawyer including lady lawyer selected in consultation with the local bar association, medical doctors nominated by the local branch of the Indian Medical Association and the NGOs accredited by the State Legal Services Authorities. The Secretary of the District Legal Services Authorities shall maintain a register containing the telephone nos. and cell nos. of the members of the core group.
The strategy for intervention by the LSA for helping the victims of disastrous shall be on the following lines.
1.    Ensuring immediate help by Governmental and Non-Governmental Agencies to the victims.
2.    Coordinating the activities of different departments of the Government and the NGOs for bringing immediate relief.
3.    Supervising the distribution of relief materials.
4.    Supervising the construction of temporary shelter or transporting the victims to a safer place.
5.    Supervising the reunion of families.
6.    Supervising the health care and sanitation of the victims and preventing the spread of epidemics.
7.    Supervising the needs of women and children.
8.    Ensuring the availability of food, medicine and drinking water.
9.    Supervising the reconstruction of damaged dwelling houses.
10. Supervising the restoration of cattle and chattel.
11. Legal Awareness Programmes in the relief camps on the legal rights of the victims.
12. Organising Legal Aid Clinics in the affected areas for assisting in reconstruction of valuable documents.
13. Assisting the victims to get the benefits of the promises and assurances announced by the Government and Ministers.
14. Assisting in the rehabilitation, care and future education of orphaned children,
15. Taking steps for appropriate debt relief measures for the victims.
16. Assisting in the rehabilitation of the old and disabled who lost their supporting families.
17. Assisting in the problems relating to Insurance Policies.
18. Arranging Bank Loans for restarting the lost business and avocations.
19.    Arranging for phyciatrist’s help / counselling to the victims who are subjected to physiological shock and depression on account of the disaster.

And to cap it all, we cannot stop the shaking of earth but we can certainly minimize and mitigate the damage.