Seismic Vulnerability of Primary Response Agencies in The Himalayan Province of Uttarakhand in India
Seismic vulnerability assessment of nearly 67%, 60%, and 18% of buildings of the first responders (Fire and Emergency Service, Police, and local administration, respectively) in the Himalayan province of Uttarakhand in India suggests 14.12% collapse, and 67.19% damage, and put to disuse immediately after an earthquake. This is to seriously limit emergency response capability of the state, and enhance sufferings and trauma of the affected community. US$ 95.27 is estimated as the cost of seismic safety of emergency response infrastructure, and this is to save building contents worth US$ 10.00 million. Prioritised demolition and reconstruction of Grade 5 buildings, detailed vulnerability assessment and phased retrofitting of Grade 4 and Grade 3 buildings, effective and strict compliance of building bye-laws, stringent punitive measures for lapses in lifeline buildings, mechanism for routine vulnerability assessment, and corrective maintenance are recommended for ensuring smooth and uninterrupted functioning of the emergency response agencies in the aftermath of an earthquake.