Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Sikkim drastically de-stabilised by recent quake

A recent report by the State department of Mines and Geology has warned the Sikkim Government that the overall soil and rock stability of the entire State has been drastically destabilised by the 6.9 Richter scale earthquake that hit the State on September 18.
This would trigger off multiple landslides in the coming monsoon season as already post-quake Sikkim has had more than 150 slides induced by the earthquake, out of which the report said 12 needed urgent remedial action while another 32 needed long term intervention. The report has also warned of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) in the higher reaches and called for close monitoring of these lakes. The impact of the quake was more on the crystalline rocks, mainly on its quartzites and variants with adverse slopes and on landmasses adjoining steep slopes and waterways, the report said. It suggested that in the short term, soil compaction on fissures on landmasses to minimise seepage and use of local technologies to retain unstable boulders, apart from identification of high risk zones and preparedness for disaster mitigation and planning in advance.

It also suggested use of remote sensing and GPS tracking aerial photographs to tackle disasters in remote areas. PTI adds: Meanwhile, Sikkim has been officially declared as a ‘Disaster Affected State’ by the government to avail soft loans and other facilities from banks, officials said. It will also facilitate funds from international funding agencies such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, they said. Banks and international agencies have been approached by the State Government for rebuilding efforts following the large-scale damages to infrastructure during the earthquake of September 18, they said. This is a requirement stipulated as per the Reserve Bank of India guidelines. The notification was issued on November 21, they said. - The Assam Tribune.

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