16 seismometers defunct in earthquake-prone zones

Only one of 13 accelerographs working across State

November 30, 2019 09:32 am | Updated 09:32 am IST - Aurangabad

At least 20 out of 35 seismometers in Maharashtra are lying in a state of disrepair, and 16 of these are located in seismic zones III and IV, an official said here on Friday.

At least four seismometers in seismic zone III and 12 in zone IV are defunct, and they fall under moderate and strong earthquake categories, respectively, he said. The procedure to induct new instruments is under way, the official from the Nashik-based Maharashtra Engineering Research Institute (MERI) said.

A seismometer is an instrument used to measure and record earthquakes. “Seismometers have been installed at 35 locations across Maharashtra and these instruments were commissioned from 1963 onwards,” he said. As time passed, these instruments turned defunct due to unavailability of spare parts and general wear and tear.

“At present, 20 out of 35 machines are defunct and two of them are shut as there was no need of the instrument in that particular area,” superintendent engineer (dam safety) Yeshwant Bhadane said.

A committee has been constituted under the director of MERI to finalise the specifications for new seismometers, he said. “We have followed the norms of the Central Water Commission and are planning to induct new instruments to measure intensity of earthquake,” Mr. Bhadane said.

Two new machines will be commissioned in the earthquake- prone Palghar district, he said.

Meanwhile, accelerographs that print the intensity of earthquakes are in a similar condition. Of the 13 machines in the State, the instrument in Koynanagar in Satara is the only one functioning, Mr. Bhadane said. “As many as 13 accelerographs were installed from 1984 to 2018, and of these, only one in Koynanagar is in a working condition.”

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