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In a first, IIT Roorkee to set up early earthquake detectors across north India

The project, which is a part of the overall research being conducted by the institute in the field of Earthquake Engineering, is an extension of the existing pilot project being conducted in the Himalayan region.

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In a first, IIT Roorkee to set up early earthquake detectors across north India
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In a first of its kind project, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee will install 'early earthquake warning' systems across major cities in north India.

The project, which is a part of the overall research being conducted by the institute in the field of Earthquake Engineering, is an extension of the existing pilot project being conducted in the Himalayan region. The location of the institute acts as an added advantage when it comes to working on seismology.

When the pilot project started in 2015, IIT Roorkee became the first institute to set up 84 sensors in the seismic gap region of Garhwal Himalaya with the help of the Ministry of Earth Sciences. These on-site sensors stream data in real-time to a computer server at the institute, using the networks of BSNL and SWAN ( network of Uttarakhand government).

"The data is being processed for issuing a warning for magnitude six and above earthquakes. Sirens, connected to the server, have been fitted within the campus of IIT Roorkee to warn of an impending high-magnitude earthquake in the region. This project was successfully completed in March 2017," said an official of IIT Roorkee.

After the successful completion of the pilot project, the Government of Uttarakhand, earlier this year, sanctioned a project to IIT Roorkee to maintain the early earthquake warning systems, and install 100 additional sensors covering Kumaun region, besides installing sirens in State Emergency Operation Centres (SEOC) at Dehradun and all district headquarters of Uttarakhand, and another 100 sirens in Dehradun and Haldwani. This is the first time the system will be set up for public use.

Prof. ML Sharma, Department of Earthquake Engineering, IIT Roorkee and Principal Investigator of the project said, "Looking at the seismic map of India, we know that most of the northern region is under the constant threat of severe or moderate earthquakes. The aim of our study in the Himalayan region was to ensure a working mechanism, which will be able to save lives. Predicting earthquakes is impossible, but it is possible to save people living in distant cities through a simple warning system, which will give them enough time to reach a safe, open place in case of an impending earthquake."

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