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Every year seismic observatories record about two hundred earthquakes of varying intensities with epicentres in or around North Eastern Region which falls in most vulnerable seismic Zone V. The scenarios developed for M 8+ earthquakes in current contexts of Assam, project massive loss of life and property and enormous damage to infrastructure and environment. The school & hospitals buildings themselves are responsible for large casualties and injuries in past earthquakes
All Hospitals & Schools (Government & Private) of Guwahati city are being assessed for their Structural safety which will bring out a detailed report outlining the multi-hazard risk index for schools and hospitals in Guwahati city. It will also provide retrofitting solutions to the concerned authority.
Unsafe Hospital buildings not only expose the Health Care Organizations to death and injury of patients, doctors, nurses etc but also disrupt the delivery of patient care services including the capability to provide emergency services in a disaster.
Schools also house the most vulnerable section of the society – the children for a major part of the day. Past experience shows that School Buildings have been the cause of many deaths and injuries during earthquakes all over the world.
Therefore, ASDMA felt it essential to undertake a Status Survey of Hospitals and Schools in the State with reference to their safety against multi hazards- Storms, Earthquakes and Flood. As a starting point, on a pilot basis, a survey was undertaken for Guwahati city as the perils facing the urban population are greater than compared to those in the rural areas.
In order to ensure that schools & hospital buildings are safer, ASDMA has taken up this project with Civil Engineering Department of Assam Engineering College for assessing existing schools & hospital buildings of Guwahati.
The project activities includes
- Carrying out Rapid Visual Screening of all School & Hospital Buildings of Guwahati
- Collating and quantify the parameters to map risk index from field data,
- Carrying detailed engineering analysis of identified vulnerable buildings,
- Generate vulnerability map of school & hospital buildings &
- Suggest Retrofitting Solutions for highly vulnerable buildings.
Uniqueness of Practice
The uniqueness of project deliverables:
- Colour Coded Multi-hazard Risk Index Map of Hospital & School Buildings in Guwahati City for easy visual quantification of risk
- Retrofitting solutions for highly vulnerable hospital & school buildings identified – both generic & case specific
- ASDMA with the administrative Govt Department will device a roadmap for Risk Reduction in terms of Replacement / Retrofitting for the highly vulnerable hospital & school buildings based on the final project report
- Knowledge of assessed risk with the concerned Govt Departments
- Device a roadmap for Risk Reduction in terms of Replacement / Retrofitting for the highly vulnerable hospital & school buildings
- This will be a tool for future administrative decision
District Administrators, Urban Development Department, Health & Family Welfare Depart, Education Department, Revenue & Disaster Management department, Planning & Development Department, Community as a whole.
Schools and Hospitals in the city at a glance
- The city is home to over 500 government schools including Lower Primary, Medium English, High and Higher Secondary schools.
- The city is home to over 200 private schools including KG, Medium English, High and Higher Secondary schools.
Most of these schools are in new construction except few old schools established by missionaries. Some of these schools are of very large size and one major concern is that, some private schools are operating from rented accommodation without strengthening the buildings for change of occupancy.
The city hosts 84 major hospitals / heath care centre including 16 Govt and 68 Pvt sector with an urban catchment of more than 527 sqkm. The large number of hospitals results also from the demand of the city’s dramatic increase in population in the last decade.
Present status of the Project
- A total of 770 schools of Guwahati city have been surveyed under the project for assessing their vulnerability and the report is complete.
- This is probably the largest ever School Safety Survey Project conducted in the country.
- Each school has its own colour coded vulnerability status along with details, so that it can be given to them for necessary correction. The individual school reports have then been filed ward-wise for Disaster Management Planning & Mitigation.
- Some of the findings on vulnerability status of schools in the city are:
- Schools affected by floods - 5%
- Schools vulnerable to slope failure / Landslide – 10%
- Schools with Major Structural Vulnerability – 34%
- Schools with Minor Structural Vulnerability – 54%
- Schools with Non-Structural Vulnerability – 74%
- Further, under the said project, Hospitals are also being surveyed and 68 Hospital Buildings are covered. The analysis for Structural & Non-structural Vulnerability of Hospitals Buildings is on process. However, an overview is that:
- The majority of the buildings are characterized by
- Plan irregularities which are also amplified by eccentrically arranged cores
- Inadequate bracings in both building directions
- Heavy masses on top of buildings
- Susceptibility to develop strong beam-weak column effect
- Missing shear walls
- Missing strengthening measures
This is huge an exercise and includes all Govt & Private Hospital and School Buildings of Guwahati City on GIS platform. It will help the concerned authority to check the safety status of those buildings and take actions accordingly. Moreover, regarding school safety, the guardians can enquire & check about the safety status of the school buildings before admitting their children in schools across Guwahati. This will also facilitate in awareness generation among the commoners.