The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 27 agreed that developed countries would provide finances for the recovery and rebuilding of poorer countries affected by climate-related disasters. European counties pledged more than The United Nations Climate ChangeConference COP27 agreed that developed countries would provide finances for the recovery and rebuilding of poorer countries affected by climate-related disasters. European counties pledged more than $300 million.
However, several questions need to be addressed with regard to creating institutional arrangements and governance mechanisms. One of the vexed questions pertains to the selection of sites for new infrastructure and development projects in hazard-prone areas.
The internalisation of risk assessment in proposed projects remains very poor in most developing countries, where disaster consciousness is low, especially among project proponents and Ministries that grant clearances to projects. Many so-called development projects create new risks or exacerbate existing ones. This points to the need to establish critical linkages between development, disasters, and climate change. In academic terms, although these linkages are well-established, governance and decision-making within most line departments continue as usual, oblivious of climate change or disaster risk.
The proposed projects in Nicobar district serve as an example. These include an international container transshipment terminal, a greenfield international airport, a gas-based power plant, and a township complex spread over 166 sq km of pristine coastal systems and tropical forests. It is also expected that 6.5 lakh people will finally inhabit the island, whereas the current population is only 8,500 at Great Nicobar; the total population of the island chain across 1,000 km is less than 4.5 lakh.
Environmentalists and those familiar with the islands raised several objections and red flags when feedback on the project was invited, but all of these have been disregarded by deflecting key concerns.
While the draft environment impact assessment (EIA) records the occurrence of earthquakes in this region at several places, the risk assessment element is missing in it, stating only the mechanisms for disaster response. A risk analysis was therefore strongly recommended before proceeding with the proposed projects with an estimated investment of Rs.72,000 crore.
The authors pointed out in a letter to the authorities that according to scientific evidence based on a simple analysis of the seismic activity in the region, the proposed container terminal would be located at a site that experiences about 44 earthquakes every year (444 earthquakes in the past 10 years). In view of the instability of the island and the surrounding region, the project in its current form needs to be reconsidered. Should another major quake take place, the entire public investment on infrastructure would be at risk and the resultant oil and chemical spill would cause a major environmental disaster in an area that is renowned globally for its unrivalled biodiversity on our planet.
The letter reminded the government that the lighthouse at Indira Point, the southernmost tip of Great Nicobar Island, which was on high ground before the undersea earthquake of 2004, is now under water, indicating a land subsidence of about 4 metres.
The Andaman–Nicobar region is extremely prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes because of its geological location. The region located in the Himalayan collision zone is in the highest seismic-hazard zone (category V). The Andaman–Nicobar subduction system, which runs north-south, meets its onshore continuation, the Indo-Burmese arc (17–278 N), in the north. Scientists (Aswini et al., 2020; Li et al., 2008, Singh and Moeremans 2017) have demonstrated that the Indo-Burmese range, which lies at the intersection of the Sumatra–Andaman and Indian subduction zones, is structurally complex and seismically active to depths of about 150 km.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at Indira Point on January 6. The coastline has seen a subsidence of nearly four metres, as the lighthouse surrounded by water shows.| Photo Credit:PTI
In addition, the island has a heavily folded topography with a few longitudinal thrusts and a number of diagonal wrenches, or faults. Most of the valleys in the central part of the Great Nicobar region are attributed to fault lines (Curray, 2005). Therefore, the region experiences significant-damaging non-tsunami and tsunami earthquakes (Mishra et al., 2007).
According to data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), 442 earthquakes occurred with a magnitude of 4.0 to 6.6 within a 150 km radius from the centre of the island between 2010 and 2020, resulting in an average rate of more than 42 earthquakes/year (USGS, 2010-2020). Most of the earthquakes (more than 80 per cent) occurred near the intersection of the Eastern Margin Fault (EMF), Diligent Fault (DF) (right lateral-fault), Andaman–Nicobar Fault (ANF), Great Sumatra Fault (GSF), and West Andaman Fault (WAF) as well as along the southern margin of the ‘east and west Andaman sea’ plate boundaries, which is located on the eastern side of the islands at close proximity to the site where the container terminal is proposed.
An earthquake’s destructive potential is proportional to its energy. Most of the earthquakes originate in the margins of Great Nicobar Islands, and the epicentre depth and magnitudes range from 10-89 km and 4.0 to 6.6 mb (body wave magnitude), respectively. Most of these seismic events consist of magnitudes ranging from 4.0 to 6.6. Earthquakes with magnitudes larger than 5.0 can potentially cause massive damage to infrastructure.
More than 80 per cent of the earthquakes originate within 100 km in the eastern margin in the Great Nicobar region, which might damage any infrastructure development significantly. Shallower earthquakes were also observed within a 100-km radius of the Great Nicobar region. According to USGS data, the increase in induced seismic activities in 2010-20, the potential for shallower origins and greater magnitudes should all be a matter of serious concern to officials responsible for public safety and welfare and those responsible for proposing such a large investment. The earthquakes can be potentially damaging and the country should certainly look into the nature and form of infrastructure and its design in that area.
Therefore, the recent increased rate of induced seismicity in Great Nicobar Islands points to the need for a systematic investigation into the very idea of a container terminal, the safety of the infrastructure, potential economic losses, and the environment damage caused by a large earthquake or a tsunami. The possible risks need to be factored in while considering any infrastructure development in the region.
Re-evaluate disaster risks
It is necessary to systemically re-evaluate the disaster risks involved in infrastructure development plans proposed by NITI Aayog for the Great Nicobar Island.
The submerged coastline at Joginder Nagar, 11 km south of Campbell Bay. Many so-called development projects create new risks or exacerbate existing ones in hazard-prone areas.| Photo Credit:Pankaj Sekhsaria
We hope due attention will be paid to this aspect of possible damage and destruction of national property that could be caused by future earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis, especially when India has taken the lead in establishing a global Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). The obvious and logical action would be to undertake systematic risk assessment in order to undertake an analysis of whether the benefit accrued through this mega investment is worth the risk.
Strangely, the response of the project proponent was:
1. That all the structures for the development will adhere to the relevant standard codes to make them earthquake proof.2. Detailed disaster management plan (DMP) in the event of an earthquake/tsunami (disaster).
Following building codes is one thing, but going ahead and building on a fault line is reckless.
Clearly, the caution that should be exercised on the basis of scientific evidence seems to be lost, as there is no mention anywhere in the project of risk assessment, risk of climate change, or risk of tsunami and earthquakes in the region.
It is apparent that the government of India continues to be response-centric while repeatedly claiming to have shifted the paradigm towards prevention and mitigation. None of the projects seem to be risk-informed, and the government’s claims ring hollow as public funds are invested in areas prone to severe hazards.
Janki Andharia is Professor at the Jamsetji Tata School of Disaster Studies (JTSDS), TataInstitute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. Dr V. Ramesh is Assistant Professor at JTSDS, and Dr Ravinder Dhiman is Chairperson, Centre for Geoinformatics.
- The Andaman–Nicobar region is extremely prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes because of its geological location.
- According to data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), 442 earthquakes occurred with a magnitude of 4.0 to 6.6 within a 150 km radius from the centre of the island between 2010 and 2020, resulting in an average rate of more than 42 earthquakes/year.
- More than 80 per cent of the earthquakes originate within 100 km in the eastern margin in the Great Nicobar region, which might damage any infrastructure development significantly.
- It is necessary to systemically re-evaluate the disaster risks involved in infrastructure development plans proposed by NITI Aayog for the Great Nicobar Island.
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The Andaman–Nicobar region is extremely prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes because of its geological location. The region located in the Himalayan collision zone is in the highest seismic-hazard zone (category V).Which East Coast state is at high risk of earthquake damage? ›
The most earthquake-prone areas include Charleston, South Carolina, eastern Massachusetts, the St. Lawrence River area, and the central Mississippi River Valley. Other sections of this part of the country are prone to earthquakes, but can expect fewer quakes of smaller magnitude.What is the Great Nicobar project? ›
The project includes an international container transshipment terminal, a greenfield international airport, township development, and a 450 MVA gas and solar based power plant over an extent of 16,610 hectares in the island.What natural disasters happen in Andaman and Nicobar Islands? ›
The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 was catastrophic for the Islands as the sea gobbled up landmass and stripped Nicobar Island coast off its trees. The Centre has improved Andaman and Nicobar Islands' defence against natural disasters and has put in place a Disaster Management Action Plan.Why not to visit Andaman and Nicobar islands? ›
These islands belong to the tribal communities and the Indian Government is trying its best to not disturb their way of life. It is a way of protecting the indigenous people. Also, it is not considered safe for tourists to explore these places. If tourists do not obey the orders, they are often fined or imprisoned.Which two states in India are most prone to earthquake? ›
According to that the most earthquake prone areas in India are Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Assam. These are the three states where earthquakes are more likely to strike.Where in the USA is the greatest chance of earthquake damage? ›
California has more earthquakes that cause damage than any other state.What are 3 states in the US that have a high earthquake risk? ›
Top 5 States with the most earthquakes (ranked):
California. Hawaii. Nevada. Washington State.
Is there any place in the world that doesn't have earthquakes? Florida and North Dakota are the states with the fewest earthquakes. Antarctica has the least earthquakes of any continent, but small earthquakes can occur anywhere in the World.What is Great Nicobar famous for? ›
The region is noted for its rich biodiversity. It houses 650 species of angiosperms, ferns, gymnosperms, bryophytes and lichens among others. The tract is rich in plant diversity and fosters a number of rare and endemic species, including Cyathea albosetacea (tree fern) and Phalaenopsis speciosa (orchid).
The two sets of islands became a union territory of the Republic of India in 1956. The territory has for more than a century been recognized for its indigenous communities, which have ardently avoided extensive interaction with ethnic outsiders.Why Andaman and Nicobar is important for India? ›
The Andaman and Nicobar islands, which stretch over 750 km in the Bay of Bengal, give India a tremendous reach. They give India a commanding position over the Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs) and the considerable traffic that flows to and fro between the Indian and Pacific Oceans through the Malacca Strait.Is it safe to visit Andaman and Nicobar? ›
Andaman and Nicobar Islands have the lowest crime rate as compared to the National Crime rate as per the reports in 2014. It is a calm place and crime rate is negligible with no political or other issues and also people are not of an aggressive nature. (This is probably because of how relaxed the Islands makes them.)Which foreigner died in Andaman and Nicobar islands? ›
An American man has been killed by an endangered tribe in India's Andaman and Nicobar islands. Fishermen who took the man to North Sentinel island say tribespeople shot him with arrows and left his body on the beach. He has been identified as John Allen Chau, a 27 year old from Alabama.Why is Andaman and Nicobar famous? ›
Why Andaman & Nicobar is famous for? Andaman Nicobar Islands is famous for its absolutely stunning beaches, rich biodiversity, beautiful marine ecosystem and tropical evergreen forests teeming with wildlife.Why is Nicobar Islands restricted? ›
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Protection of Aboriginal Tribes Act of 1956 prohibits travel to the island, and any approach closer than 5 nautical miles (9.3 km), in order to protect the remaining tribal community from "mainland" infectious diseases against which they (likely) have no acquired immunity.Are earthquakes common in Andaman? ›
Continuous tremors are felt on the island, due to a series of earthquakes occurring in the Andaman sea. Though the earthquakes didn't cause any harm or casualties, still so many frequently occurring earthquakes are a cause of concern.Can US citizens travel to Andaman and Nicobar islands? ›
Foreigners are permitted to visit the following Islands without requirement of Restricted Area Permit- (1) East Island (2) North Andaman (3) Smith Island (4) Curfew Island (5) Stewart Island (6) Landfall Island (7) Ayes Island (8) Middle Andaman (9) Long Island (10) Strait Island (11) North Passage (12) Baratang (13) ...Where is the red zone in India for earthquakes? ›
It is referred to as the Very High Damage Risk Zone. The regions of Kashmir, the Western and Central Himalayas, North and Middle Bihar, the North-East Indian region, the Rann of Kutch and the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands fall in this zone.Which is the most threatening state by earthquake? ›
The three states in India where earthquakes are more likely to strike are Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Assam. Q. List three states in India where earthquakes are more likely to strike.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Information Center, every state in the U.S. has experienced an earthquake of one kind or another. It lists Florida and North Dakota as the two states with the fewest earthquakes.
Parkfield, California, also known as the Earthquake Capital of the World. United States Geological Survey does continuous monitoring of earthquake faults, including the famous San Andreas Fault which runs through the center of Parkfield.Will California eventually fall into the ocean? ›
No, California is not going to fall into the ocean. California is firmly planted on the top of the earth's crust in a location where it spans two tectonic plates.What is the most earthquake prone city in the US? ›
Anchorage and southern Alaska shore
Alaska is one of the most seismically active places in the world. They happen frequently, with 11 percent of the world's earthquakes occurring in the state.
The 'Big One' is a hypothetical earthquake of magnitude ~8 or greater that is expected to happen along the SAF. Such a quake will produce devastation to human civilization within about 50-100 miles of the SAF quake zone, especially in urban areas like Palm Springs, Los Angeles and San Francisco.What cities will be affected by the San Andreas Fault? ›
|San Andreas Fault|
|Cities||San Francisco, San Bernardino, San Juan Bautista|
|Segments||Calaveras, Hayward, Elsinore, Imperial, Laguna Salada, San Jacinto|
|Length||1,200 km (750 mi)|
Counties in New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah have the lowest risk of environmental peril, according to a recent study from CoreLogic, a real estate data firm. The study analyzed the risk of natural disasters over the next 30 years, to the nation's 154 million properties.What is the safest state to live in from natural disasters? ›
- Five of the least disaster-prone states:
- New Hampshire.
In 2021, U.S. News and World Report analyzed resiliency data from the Environmental Protection Agency and found that the top five most climate-resilient cities in the U.S. were Anchorage, Alaska; Honolulu; Spokane, Washington; Eugene, Oregon; and Santa Barbara, California.Can a Indian go to Nicobar? ›
Nicobar district (except Campbell Bay) is a restricted area. Any one who is interested in visiting this district would require obtaining a LANDING PERMIT from the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Andaman District.
It was formerly known by various names that include Pygmalion Point, Parsons Point, and for a brief period India Point.What is the old name of Nicobar? ›
The history of the Andaman and Nicobar Starts from the Ramayana period.In the Ramayana period it was called as Handuman, As time passes away this place was renamed. In the 1st Century this place was called as Agadaemon Angademan according to Ptolemy. Travellers from different parts of the world visited this place.Can a Indian buy land in Great Nicobar? ›
Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar of the Andaman and Nicobar Island administration said, "The union territory is part of India and any Indian resident can buy a property over here, except for a few restricted places in Nicobar Islands. The government is planning several developments projects in the area."Who is Nicobar's target audience? ›
nicobar.com Audience Demographics
nicobar.com's audience is 39.04% male and 60.96% female.
Most of the people speak Bengali and Hindi However, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam are also common in Andaman & Nicobar island. The habitants of the Andaman Islands have Andamanese which is a small group that speak Andamanese language.Do Indians need passport for Andaman and Nicobar? ›
There is no need for a passport or permit for Indian citizens to visit the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Specific permission with details about the visit is however required to visit notified Tribal areas (e.g. research, educational, etc.).Why Andaman is better than Maldives? ›
While both Maldives and Andaman are equally good to visit but the Maldives has private islands for their tourists and Andamans is covered in every way with natural beauty. Is the Maldives good for couples? The Maldives is an ideal destination for all couples as it has private resorts, beaches for tourists.Why Andaman is better than Goa? ›
Both Goa and Andaman possess historical roots. Goa was influenced by Portuguese and Andaman by Britishers. So, if you visit any of them, you would surely find historic places to visit. Goa is mainly known for its party and chill vibes while Andaman is more about its tropical, island, and exotic vibes.Is Andaman Nicobar safe for girls? ›
All in all the Andaman and Nicobar Islands can be considered to be one of the safest and most reliable places for solo traveling for men and women alike. It is only next to Kerala in terms of safe travel destination across India and also across the world as both these places are massively popular foreign tourist spots.Is Andaman prone to tsunami? ›
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and coastal areas along the Mainland India (as well as Indonesia and Thailand) are vulnerable to tsunamis generated from earthquakes originating from different sources that exist along the Sumatra Subduction Zone (SUSZ), Andaman Subduction Zone (ANSZ) and Arakan Subduction Zone (ARSZ) ( ...
Is alcohol available in Andaman? Andaman and Nicobar is not a dry area and liquor are permitted here. There are government-owned liquor shops which deals in the sale of liquor.Which tribe is uncontacted in Andaman Islands? ›
The Sentinelese are an uncontacted tribe living on North Sentinel Island, one of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. They vigorously reject all contact with outsiders. Survival International lobbies, protests and uses public pressure to ensure their wish to remain uncontacted is respected.Which type of people live in Andaman Nicobar? ›
The People of Andaman can be broadly categorized into two groups viz. Indigenous or Aborigines and Immigrants or Settlers. Prior to 1858, the Andaman Islands were inhabited by Autochthons only and with the founding of Penal Settlement at Port Blair after Indian Mutiny, Non-autochthons came to inhabit these Islands.Which tribe is friendly in Andaman? ›
Onge. The Onge tribe resides in Little Andaman and is also friendly to outsiders. They are semi-nomadic and depend on hunting and foraging for sustenance. They have been regularly contacted since the 1950s and have since accepted gifts like sugar, tobacco and clothes, among others.What kind of food is popular in Andaman and Nicobar? ›
The staple diet of Andaman includes rice, coconut, spices, and lots of seafood. In fact, being a group of islands, Andaman is a paradise for seafood lovers. From cuttlefish, crabs, lobsters, prawns, to the all-time favorite Red Snapper, you can taste a variety of seafood on these islands.Why not to visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands? ›
These islands belong to the tribal communities and the Indian Government is trying its best to not disturb their way of life. It is a way of protecting the indigenous people. Also, it is not considered safe for tourists to explore these places. If tourists do not obey the orders, they are often fined or imprisoned.What is the main business of Andaman Nicobar? ›
Tourism Industry Port Blair
A major portion of revenue of Port Blair and Andaman and Nicobar Islands is earned through tourism.
The regions of Kashmir, the Western and Central Himalayas, North and Middle Bihar, the North-East Indian region, the Rann of Kutch and the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands fall in this zone. Generally, the areas having trap rock or basaltic rock are prone to earthquakes.Is it safe to live in Andaman and Nicobar Islands? ›
Crime rate in Andaman
It is a calm place and crime rate is negligible with no political or other issues and also people are not of an aggressive nature. (This is probably because of how relaxed the Islands makes them.) The tourists have been reported to say that if they forgot their bag or any belonging in some place.
The correct answer is "Zone V". Zone- V comprises of entire northeastern India, the corridor of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, a corridor of North Bihar and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Antarctica has the least earthquakes of any continent, but small earthquakes can occur anywhere in the World.Which state in India is most prone to tsunami? ›
- Kerala- Alleppey and Earnakulam.
- Tamil Nadu- Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Chennai, Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Villupuram, Thiruvarur, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur.
- Andhra Pradesh- Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur. Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari.
Tsunamigenic zones that threaten the Indian Coast have been identified, and they are the fault region off Sumatra, North Andaman, Car Nicobar in the Bay of Bengal and the Makran fault in the Arabian sea (Fig.What is the prediction of earthquake in India 2023? ›
India Has Already Suffered 6 Tremors In March Alone; Scientists Predict 8-Magnitude Earthquake In Future. 2023 is shaping up to be a quaky year! The number of earthquakes around the globe has recently increased.Which is the most earthquake prone country in the world? ›
For which country do we locate the most earthquakes? Japan. The whole country is in a very active seismic area, and they have the densest seismic network in the world, so they are able to record many earthquakes.Where is seismic zone 4 in India? ›
Zone IV (severe intensity zone): Ladakh; Remaining parts of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand; Some parts of Haryana, Parts of Punjab; Delhi; Sikkim; the northern part of Uttar Pradesh; small portions of Bihar and West Bengal; parts of Gujarat and small portions of Maharashtra near the west coast and ...Is Mumbai safe from earthquake? ›
According to seismic data, Mumbai is indeed at risk of earthquakes. In 1618, during Portuguese rule, a powerful earthquake hit the city, resulting in the death of over 20,000 people, even though the population was only 200,000, and the city comprised only seven islands.Which is the most active fault in India? ›
North –East region: Collision zones of the Himalayan belt and Sumatran belt. Kopili fault is currently the most active seismic zone in North East India. Himalayan belt– Collision between Indo-Austral plate with Eurasian plate and Burma Plate with Java Sumatra.Is Delhi safe from earthquake? ›
Delhi is prone to earthquakes because it is sitting on three major fault lines. “Delhi has a few fault lines. This means there are some junctions of plates, in and around Delhi-NCR. The Delhi-Moradabad fault line is a major fault line.