News eDaily04 Nov 2016

India:Over half of the country vulnerable to earthquakes

04 Nov 2016

More than half of India's area is vulnerable to earthquakes and several of its cities are at "high risk", global catastrophe risk management firm RMS has said.

Dr Robert Muir-Wood, Chief Research Officer of RMS, speaking at the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in New Delhi this week, organised in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, said: “More than half of India by area is vulnerable to earthquakes, and almost 40 cities are at particularly high risk. The rapid expansion in population and development in India is moving too fast to ensure adequate standards of protection. The widespread damage from earthquake to ordinary buildings recently seen in neighbouring Nepal, could equally be the outcome in many cities in India.”

Dr Muir-Wood also noted that India has the highest number of people exposed to flood risk of any country worldwide, and the fastest increase in flood risk from development and climate change.

Referring to events such as 2001 Gujarat earthquake, 2005 Mumbai floods and inundation in Chennai last year, he said that “the protection gap in India must be closed”.

At a conference to be hosted by RMS in partnership with GIC Re next week, global catastrophe risk experts will discuss how catastrophe modeling can support the expansion of the Indian insurance industry by giving confidence in how risk is priced and portfolios are managed, RMS said in a statement.

At the conference, RMS modlelers will outline the company’s plans to release its first fully probabilistic flood risk model for India in 2018, in addition to its India flood hazard maps in 2017. The maps will highlight, at high precision, the areas of India which are vulnerable to floods even down to the level of individual streets and buildings.


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